Five men were sentenced by Guatemala’s highest court to 30 years in prison for raping dozens of Mayan women during the civil war, the BBC reported. The condemned men were members of the so-called “civilian self-defense patrols” – an armed group supported by the military.
Supreme Court of Guatemala he sentenced five members of paramilitary militias to 30 years in prison for raping dozens of Mayan women during the civil war. The events took place in the 1980s near the city of Rabinal, located north of the capital, in the central part of the country. The area also houses a mass grave in which more than 3,000 people are buried.
The 36 rape victims were between the ages of 12 and 52. Some of the women were pregnant, many of them had a miscarriage. The convicted men were members of the so-called “civilian self-defense patrols” – an armed group supported by the military.
During the three-week trial in the capital city of Guatemala, testimony was heard from the victims and relatives of the indigenous Achi people. The accused removed all the men from the village and then raped, tied up and threatened the women.
Judge Gervi Sical said the sentences were issued for crimes against humanity. The five accused men heard them remotely from the prison.
UN Commissioner on the verdict
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Guatemala commented that the settlement was “a breakthrough in accessing the right to truth, justice and redress for women victims of sexual violence during the war.”
About 200,000 people were murdered or missing in the conflict in Guatemala in 1960–1996. Most of the victims of the conflict came from indigenous communities. They were accused by the military and paramilitary organizations of supporting leftist militias.
Main photo source: Esteban Biba / PAP / EPA