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Apr 5, 2013

Guatemalan president accused of executing civilians and other atrocities during civil war

Otto Perez Molina

Even though it will not be holding a referendum on October sixth, Guatemala is still stepping up its campaign on its claim to fifty percent of Belize.  Official publications, including passports and maps, depict Belize as part of its territory. But tonight, President Otto Perez Molina is facing plenty trouble and huge embarrassment. Perez Molina, a former military general who served under Dictator Efrain Rios Montt from 1982 to 1983, has been accused of burning down homes and executing civilians, among other atrocities during the civil war and he is the first president in Guatemala to be tried for war crimes. The accusations against Perez Molina were made on Thursday at the genocide trial of Rios Montt.

Rios Montt

Montt was ordered to stand trial in January for allegedly turning a blind eye to military offensives which resulted in the mass deaths of more than seventeen hundred indigenous people and leftist rebels. And it is Perez Molina, says witness, Hugo Reyes, who commanded the soldiers to commit those war crimes. Reyes, who was stationed as an army engineer, says he personally witnessed the killing of farmers on an army base in northwestern Guatemala by troops commanded by Perez Molina. Perez Molina took office in 2012, and has always vigorously denied any involvement in war crimes during his military service. And today he did the same, attacking the credibility of the witness, stating he had never met Hugo Reyes. Perez Molina says that he does admit to being in Nebaj in northwestern Guatemala where the atrocities were committed but that he was only there to rescue the people.

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4 Responses for “Guatemalan president accused of executing civilians and other atrocities during civil war”

  1. Benito Bol says:

    Don’t insult our intelligence by saying you were there to “rescue the people”.If that is the case, then cleanse your heart and testify against Rios Montt. Shame on all of you involved n you maybe wish you could do the same to the belizean people.

  2. Bear says:

    Leading a massacre of civilians looks bad on anyone’s resume!

    I’m not surprised, Guatemala has a nearly unbroken history of being a corrupt military dictatorship, and that will always make them a really bad and dangerous neighbor.

  3. History Minded says:

    There to rescue people… pitiful

    Hope the Uni students there take action..

    Indigenous groups were highly suspicious of Otto during the campaign

  4. Seletar says:

    In the 80′s I spent a lot of time on business at the airport in Guatemala City, and early every morning you could see one or two Guat Air Force jets take off, loaded with bombs or rockets under the wings to attack the Mayans, and later see them come back with empty bomb-racks. It’s not credible to believe ANY highranking Guat officer in that government “did not know” they were slaughtering their own Indians. And the same people are still running the show there, so if the Guats ever take over southern Belize, our own Mayans better watch out for their lives!

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