Rios Montt took charge of a military junta in the early 1980s — right at the peak of Guatemala’s civil war between the government and leftist groups. The country’s military labeled the Ixil people as guerilla fighters (Via YouTube / laverdadlibre) …
… leading to the deaths of almost 1,800 men, women and children. Members of the tribes, remnants of the Mayan civilization that once spanned Central America, claim the raping of women by government troops was especially widespread. (Via YouTube / Amnesty International)
Rios Montt and his supporters have claimed any decisions he made as the leader of those troops was in the heat of battle. But after hearing testimony from 100 witnesses over five weeks, a judge found the general guilty of war crimes. (Via The New York Times)
Rios Montt will begin serving his sentence immediately, but he’s expected to appeal the decision. A human rights group in the U.S. says in just 17 months, between 1982-83, more than 5 percent of all the Ixil people were killed.