Weekly News Roundup

February 16th-February 23rd

  • Mixco will be protected by 420 new agents. President Perez Molina announced that a new police station will be created in Mixco to combat insecurity.  It is a pilot program that includes members of the National Police (PNC), the army, and support from the Municipal Transit Police.
  • Change of prosecutor in genocide case. Prosecutor Manuel Vasquez will no longer be in charge of the genocide case against Efraín Ríos Montt.  Vasquez was promoted to head of the district prosecutor’s office in Sacatepéquez.  He will be replaced with Orlando Salvador López, who worked with Vasquez on the case.
  • Second lawsuit brought against guerilla.  The lawsuit is brought by Telma Marcos Bernal, an indigenous woman, against the commanders of the Ejército Guerrillero de los Pobres (EGP) for kidnapping and murder.  Bernal is bringing cases of genocide against 20 individuals who include human rights defenders, family members of the Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz, and the sister of ex-president Álvaro Colom.
  • Judge in Ríos Montt case steps down.  The judge in charge of the genocide trial of Efrain Ríos Montt stepped down upon requests of the defense lawyers.  Judge Carol Patricia Flores announced her decision just before a hearing to decide if the charges should be dropped due to an amnesty law that was passed in 1986.  The new judge is Miguel Ángel Gálvez and he suspended the proceedings until March.
  • Retired general to be tried for Dos Erres massacre.  Oral debates will begin the legal proceedings against former general Pedro Pimentel, who was the head of the Kaibiles that carried out the Dos Erres Massacre in 1982.  He is being charged with assassination and crimes against humanity.

International News

  • Latin America divided by drug legalization debate.  President Perez Molina has reopened a debate within Latin America about the legalization of drugs as a way to combat narcotrafficking.  The US has rejected the proposal, and officials in El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Mexico have also expressed doubts.  The article discusses the range of opinions held by various leaders in Latin America.

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