Ex-paramilitaries sentenced in Guatemala to 30 years in prison for raping dozens of indigenous people

By Sofia Menchú

GUATEMALA CITY, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Five former Guatemalan paramilitaries were sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of raping 36 indigenous women between 1981 and 1985, the bloodiest period of the Civil War in that country, the Monday the highest court of the Central American nation.

The trial against the former members of the so-called Civil Self-Defense Patrol, armed groups recruited by the Army, began three weeks ago and included testimonies from relatives and survivors of the victims of the Achi ethnic group.

“This court resolves 30 years in prison for the crime of Duties against Humanity (…) The women were subjected to continuous rape and also to domestic slavery,” said Gervi Sical, during the reading of the sentence, at the end of the hearing. one of the judges of Court A.

The official explained that the former patrolmen disappeared all the men from a village in Baja Verapaz, in northern Guatemala, to rape, tie up and threaten the women of the Mayan Achi ethnic group, who after being raped were urinated on.

At the end of the hearing, one of the victims said that they were not seeking revenge but rather justice. “We don’t want this to happen again, that (…) what we experienced is repeated,” she added, sitting in the courtroom.

This is the second case in the country in which judges obtain a conviction in similar acts. In 2016, two soldiers were sentenced for harassing 15 Q’eqchi women, also of Mayan origin, in a case known as Sepur Zarco. (Reporting by Sofía Menchú. Editing by Lizbeth Díaz and Ana Isabel Martínez)


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