AMERICA/GUATEMALA - After 30 years former army members found guilty of crimes against indigenous women

Thursday, 3 March 2016 politics   women   human rights   justice  

former army soldiers found guilty of crimes against indigenous women

Guatemala City (Agenzia Fides) – At last they have been convicted of crimes against humanity including sexual and domestic violence, sexual slavery , involving women of the village of Maya Q'eqchi', the murder Dominga Coc and her two daughters, Anita and Hermelinda, and the disappearance of seven men, the husbands of the women who pressed charges.
Yesterday a sentence was issued to former army members Esteelmer Francisco Reyes Giron and Heriberto Valdez Asig, found guilty of atrocious crimes and sentenced to a total 360 years in prison.
The case had become of national interest because after thirty years a trial was being held (see Fides 2/02/2016). In 1982 one of many army detachments deployed by anti-insurgent state policy in Guatemala during the armed conflict within the country, settled in the community of Sepur Zarco, in the north east of the country. The women were abused by the soldiers, repeatedly raped. The husbands were abducted and never seen again. According to local sources the mere fact of asking for the legalisation of their land was considered an act of insurgence. The horrors of abuse continued for six months and left indelible scars on many lives.
The report sent to Fides quotes the words pronounced by the judge at the trial Jazmin Barrios: "Recognition of the truth helps heal wounds of the past and the application of justice is a right which protects the victims and reinforces the state of law in our country, creating awareness of the fact that this type of crime must never be repeated".
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/03/2016)