Sunday, May 12, 2013

It Can Be Done

I believe it's a good idea to give kudos to Guatemala today. Really, it ought to have been done on Friday, but we're here now. On Friday, Guatemala became the first nation ever to successfully prosecute a former head of state for genocide via their own judicial system. The recipient of the verdict, Efrain Rios Montt, was found guilty for his role in the genocide of Guatemala's Mayan population during the his rule from 1982-83, pas part of the larger Guatemalan Civil War. Rigoberta Menchu won the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in alerting the larger world to what was going on. In 1999, Menchu filed suit in Spain because she didn't think Guatemala could prosecute this themselves. Most agreed with her, including Spain. Montt was sentenced to 80 years, most of which is rather academic given that he's 86 years old.

Needless to say, Montt is appealing.

For the record, let's go have a look at what the United States thought of it at the time. 1982-83 would correspond to the Reagan administration, so... let's see.... oh dear, did we ever back the wrong pony on this one.

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