Photo: Efrain Rios Montt
Guatemalan former strongman Efrain Rios Montt was convicted Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison.
His co-defendant, retired Gen. Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, was acquitted.
The court revoked Rios Montt’s house arrest and ordered him taken to prison.
Rios Montt, 86, and the 67-year-old Rodriguez were accused in the deaths of 1,771 Ixil Indians between March 1982 and August 1983 as part of a counter-insurgency campaign.
This is the first time any Guatemalan ruler has been called to account for the massacres and atrocities of the country’s 1960-1996 civil war.
Rios Montt presided over the bloodiest phase of a conflict that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Most of the dead were Indian peasants slaughtered by the army and its paramilitary allies.