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Issue #1591      May 1, 2013

Support genocide survivors

Guatemala Human Rights Commission

The genocide case has been stalled, and is at risk of being annulled. Please act now to make a historic stand in solidarity with the Ixil people and all Guatemalans who seek justice!

Over the last month, over 100 Ixil Mayan survivors of genocide have testified against former Guatemalan head of state Efraín Ríos Montt and his Chief of Intelligence, José Rodríguez Sánchez for crimes against humanity committed in the 1980s.

At great personal risk, victim after victim took the stand and recounted stories of horrific brutality including bloody massacres, torture, rape, displacement, and wholesale destruction for the simple “crime” of being Mayan.

However, just as the trial reached its final days, it has screeched to a halt. A lower-level judge, while ruling on a legal challenge filed in 2011, unexpectedly declared the entire process null and void, and demanded that the trial start over from the very beginning. The decision was audaciously illegal and threatens to unravel all the advances made towards justice, historic memory, and reconciliation.

The fate of the genocide case now rests with the Guatemalan Constitutional Court. Five justices hold the power to put the trial back on track and let justice have its day. However, if they uphold the illegal ruling of Judge Flores – or simply stay silent until next week – the trial will be automatically annulled.  

The trial is an important step toward breaking almost 30 years of unchallenged impunity, and toward healing the battered soul of a divided nation. And this is the moment of truth.

Please join GHRC today in asking the Constitutional Court to take action to defend the rule of law and ensure the trial can run its course.

Sincerely,

Kelsey Alford-Jones

GHRC/USA

To sign the petition go to ghrc-usa.org   

Next article – Prisoner freed

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