A Guatemalan judge on Monday ordered two former generals to be tried on genocide charges from four decades ago, Reuters reported.
Manuel Benedicto Lucas and Manuel Callejas are accused of committing genocide, crimes against humanity, and kidnappings from 1978 to 1982, allegedly killing more than 1,700 people, according to Reuters.
The killings, resulting from 31 separate massacres, took place in Guatemala’s northern Quiche region. (RELATED: Vice President Harris To Visit Mexico And Guatemala To Address Root Causes Of Northern Triangle Migration)
Guatemalan judge orders two high-ranking ex-generals to stand trial on genocide charges from four decades ago. https://t.co/suhh8tvzG7
— NBC News (@NBCNews) August 31, 2021
Lucas was the third-ranking army official, and Callejas was in charge of national intelligence at the time the crimes were committed. The former generals, both 85, have been held since 2016 at a military medical facility in Guatemala City.
The genocide occurred during the country’s 36-year civil war between the government and leftist rebel groups, which ended with peace agreements in 1996, according to Reuters. Over 200,000 lives were lost, and another 45,000 forcibly disappeared over the course of the war.
Judge Miguel Angel Galvez, who sent Callejas and Lucas to trial, previously charged six other former military members for crimes related to the civil war.
Few people have been tried for crimes committed during the civil war, and a U.N.-backed committee has acknowledged that the Guatemalan army committed the majority of the cruelty.
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