The Dos Erres Massacre
Guatemala

The Dos Erres massacre is one of the bloodiest atrocities committed during the civil war by the Guatemalan army. The events took place on December 6, 7 and 8 1982, when members of the Kaibiles special operations team entered the community of Dos Erres, accompanied by a platoon of about 40 soldiers. Upon their incursion, the villagers were subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Several women, including girls and teenagers, were raped repeatedly. The children were brutally beaten and many of them were thrown down a well that was still under construction. The remaining villagers were also executed, their remains thrown down the well.

Case Impact

  • The Inter-American Court considered the States' use and tolerance for a sistemic practice of removal and arbitrary detention of minors within its territory of "particular seriousness" in its decision.
  • The sentence against members of the Guatemalan military constituted an important step in the fight against impunity. The decision resulted in the first ever sentence made by  a Guatemalan court where members of the Kaibiles special ops team, responsible for some of the most violent and cruel human rights violations during the internal armed conflict,were condemned.