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Guatemala Trial Prisons Civil war Military General Dictatorship Guerrilla United States

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Guatemalan ex-officers sentenced to 6,060 years each for 1982 massacre

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AFP/Johan ORDONEZ

A court in Guatemala sentenced four former military officers to 6,060 years in prison each on Tuesday for killing more than 200 civilians in 1982 during the 36-year civil war.


The defendants were sentenced to 30 years in prison for each victim. They also received another 30 years in prison for a "crime against humanity by state security forces," bringing the total to 6,060 years in prison for each man.

The killings took place over three days in December 1982.

Witnesses said the victims included pregnant women, children and the elderly. The only survivors were children.

The court said the killings were "perverse" because they "erased from the map" the village of Dos Erres in the Peten department.

The convicted men, Antonio Carlos Carias, Manuel Pop, Reyes Collin and Daniel Martinez, were part of the elite Kabil army force when they took part in the massacre, according to the charge sheet.

Pedro Pimentel has also been detained in connection with the case after being deported from the US last month.

Another three men have been arrested in connection with the massacre, two in Guatemala and one in Canada.

General Efrain Rios Montt, who was in power at the time, is alleged to have ordered the attack and has two open cases against him in Spain and Guatemala for crimes against humanity.

The massacre at Dos Erres is one of the 699 cases documented by the Historical Clarification Commission, whose report cites around 200,000 casualties from the 1960-1996 civil war, during which the military regime, backed by the US, fought left-wing guerrillas.