San José, May 11, 2015.- Two years ago yesterday a historic ruling of the High-Risk Court A was issued against the former head of state Efraín Rios Montt, for the genocide against the Mayan Ixil people between 1982 and 1983. The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) takes the opportunity to urge the State of Guatemala to comply with its obligation to prosecute and punish all those responsible for the crimes, and to open the way to obtain justice in this case.
The domestic judicial process against the former generals Ríos Montt and Rodríguez Sánchez, which culminated with the judgment of May 10, 2013, represented a legal achievement for truth and access to justice for the victims and their families. However, the illegal annulment of the judgment by the Constitutional Court in its resolution of May 20, 2013, implied a great backlash from the State against the victims and a serious setback in the fight against impunity for the human rights violations committed during the internal armed conflict in Guatemala.
The alleged facts include more than 60 massacres and attacks perpetrated by members of the Guatemalan Army against the Ixil population, that left around 1,800 casualties, as well as numerous victims of forced disappearance, sexual violence, torture and forced displacement.
Although the trial against Ríos Montt and Rodríguez Sánchez was resumed at the beginning of this year, it was suspended once again due to malicious legal resources by the defense of the accused. In addition to this situation and considering the denial of justice that prevails after more than 30 years of the events, the Guatemalan State faces a new complaint before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), which was filed by CEJIL and the internal complainant bodies: the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), the Center for Legal Action in Human Rights (CALDH) and the Legal Office for Human Rights (BDH).
"The Ixil people and Guatemalan society in general, require the State to resolve its debt with the victims of the genocide. We call on the authorities to adopt all necessary measures to guarantee access to justice for the victims and the reparation of the serious violations suffered, "said Marcia Aguiluz, Director of the Program for Central America and Mexico.