Justice for the Genocide in Guatemala
A Guatemalan judge has ordered a former military dictator, Efraín Ríos Montt, to appear in court on Thursday, the first step in a process that could lead to his being tried on genocide charges and to a reopening of the darkest chapter in Guatemala's brutal 36-year civil war.
On January 5, 2012, just days before the January 14 inauguration of former general Otto Perez Molina as President of Guatemala, a Guatemalan court in a highly irregular procedure dismissed charges against Perez Molina for the 1992 forced disappearance, illegal detention, prolonged torture and presumed extrajudicial execution of Efrain Bamaca.
Retired army general Otto Perez Molina, elected on an "iron fist" platform by Guatemalans weary of unrelenting violence, will take office on January 14. Despite his victory, questions remain unanswered both about his past and about the methods he will use to suppress the country's escalating disorder.
Amazing efforts continue, in Guatemala, to dig up the remains of victims of the genocide and State repression of the past, and seek justice and reparations.
General Otto Perez Molina - Comandante Tito, as he was known in the early eighties, directing operations in the butchering fields of the [Maya] Ixil communities 3 hours north of here - is the founder of the Patriotic Party, and his sneering face on billboards, huge and small, the PP symbol of the fighting Iron Fist, their pumpkin-orange flags and banners, and frenetic pounding music are ubiquitous throughout the country, and especially in the Maya highlands, the very land where the genocide occurred.