Ixil survivors hold a vigil outside of the
Palace of Justice on Sept 26, 2018
(Photo credit: Carlos Sebastian)

For many years, BTS has accompanied the trial for genocide against the Indigenous Ixil population in Guatemala. Yesterday, the retrial against former Chief of Military Intelligence Rodriguez Sanchez for genocide and crimes against humanity concluded. The high risk court once again ruled that genocide and crimes against humanity occurred against the Ixil people in 1982-1983, the height of Guatemala’s internal armed conflict. However, in a 2-1 vote, they absolved Rodriguez Sanchez for responsibility in these crimes. Dissenting Judge Sara Yoc Yol says: “he should have been sentenced because he handed over all that information and as far as I’m concerned he is guilty of genocide” (more here). 

In the historic 2013 ruling, de facto military president Rios Montt was found guilty for genocide and crimes against humanity, while Rodriguez Sanchez was absolved of all charges. Unfortunately, the sentence was overturned ten days later on a procedural appeal and the retrial faced many false starts and delays. A retrial finally started in October 2017. While the case against Ríos Montt was closed following his death this past April, the retrial of Rodríguez Sánchez continued, with the verdict coming in yesterday.

Here are some more links, for additional information: 

The Rodríguez Sánchez Genocide Trial: Verdict Expected September 26:

Guatemala’s former intelligence chief acquitted of human rights violations:

Justice for Genocide in Guatemala by Jackie McVicar: