On the 4th day of the closed-door debates against Jose Efraín Ríos Montt and Jose Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, they listened to the testimonies of forensic anthropologists who carried out the exhumations in the Ixil area and confirmed the horrible crimes the army committed there against the unarmed civilian population.
Ríos Montt is represented by a third party in the closed-door special proceedings; the Court does not have the power to impose a prison sentence due to Rios Montt’s physical health.
In a recent public statement, GHRC and partner organizations expressed concern about the case and called for the trial against Rodríguez Sánchez to be public.
Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez declassified eight plans from the military campaign which were used as strategies during the internal armed conflict between 1983 and 1990. These can now be used in in-progress investigations related to the Military Diary and cases of extra-judicial executions, forced disappearances, and massacres. Copies of these documents have been given to plaintiff groups including, FAMDEGUA and the Association for Justice and Reconciliation.
Currently 79.2% of the population in Guatemala is living in poverty, while 46.6% are below the extreme poverty line. This situation principally affects indigenous and rural communities, and, according to CERIGUA, the State has not adequately addressed this issue and in fact there has even been regression on progress on these issues since the start of Morales’ presidency.
Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez has suspended the scheduled hearing of the former president due to an appeal from the Attorney General’s Office, and it was not clear when the trial would resume. Both the former president and former vice-president, Roxana Baldetti resigned last year after a corruption scandal involving both came to light. Former Vice-President Baldetti arrived late to the proceedings due to health problems according to her lawyers, and the judge ordered she undergo medical examinations.
Following the March 28th court appearance, former President Pérez Molina was quoted as stating “I am innocent, and everyone must respect that.” He has also blamed the U.S. Embassy for interfering in the internal affairs of Guatemala through the CICIG.