Under the banner, “Yes, there was genocide,” a Nicaraguan solidarity group is organizing a demonstration in front of the Guatemalan Embassy in Managua tomorrow morning to protest the Guatemalan Constitutional Court’s recent decision to vacate the sentence against former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who on May 10 was convicted of genocide and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
Since the trial against retired Gen. Río Montt started in 2000, the defense filed 175 motions in an alleged attempt to stall justice, according to a press release issued today by the solidarity group in Nicaragua.
“The annulment of the 80-year prison sentence against ex-dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt is a violation of the rights of the victims to access justice and receive compensation for damages; instead they are being exposed to a new judicial process that is exhausting and painful,” the group said in its statement.
Ríos Montt and Mauricio Rodríguez are accused of being the intellectual authorizes of genocide of 1,771 maya-ixil indigenous people in the department of Quiché during the scorched earth campaign of 1982-1983, a military operation known as “Plan Sofía”—one of the bloodiest chapters of Guatemala’s 36-year armed conflict.
“From Nicaragua, we want to express our solidarity with the Ixil people and the people of Guatemala in general, and our indignation over the unjust decision by the Constitutional Court,” the solidarity group says says. “This isn’t just a setback for justice in Guatemala and around the world, but also the re-victimization of a people who have already suffered racism, pain and war. Our voices unite with the other countries of Central America who will also be protesting simultaneously on Friday.”
Friday’s protest will be a 9 a.m. in front of the Guatemalan Embassy on KM 11.5 on the Carretera Masaya.