Relatives of the victims of the slaughter of the villa Dos Erres form the word 'Justice' with flowers outside the Supreme Court on August 2, 2011 in Guatemala City before the trial of military men involved.

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JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP

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Relations of the victims of the Dos Erres bloodbath have been campaigning for justice for years

A Guatemalan former soldier has been sentenced to greater than 5,000 years in jail for his position in a bloodbath throughout the nation’s civil warfare.

Greater than 200 individuals had been killed within the village of Dos Erres in 1982, one of the crucial violent episodes in Guatemala’s brutal 36-year battle.

Santos López was discovered chargeable for 171 of the deaths.

He was a member of the Kaibiles, a US-trained counter-insurgency pressure combating left-wing guerrillas.

López was sentenced to 30 years for every of the 171 killings dedicated within the village and to a further 30 years for his position within the homicide of a woman who had initially survived.

Underneath Guatemalan legislation, nevertheless, the utmost time any individual can spend in jail is 50 years.

The particular unit of the Guatemalan military stormed the village within the north of the nation on 6 December 1982.

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The Kaibiles suspected the villagers of sympathising with left-wing guerrillas who had two months earlier carried out an ambush on a close-by military patrol, leaving 21 troopers lifeless.

Regardless that the troopers’ search of the village didn’t uncover any of the weapons the guerrillas had seized throughout the ambush, the Kaibiles proceeded to kill the village’s inhabitants.

Guatemala’s civil warfare 1960-1996

  • The battle pitted left-wing, principally Mayan insurgents towards the state
  • The Guatemalan authorities, backed by the US, waged a vicious marketing campaign to get rid of the guerrillas
  • Greater than 200,000 individuals, most of them indigenous Mayan civilians, had been killed or disappeared

Over a number of days, the troopers systematically shot or bludgeoned to demise a whole bunch of males, girls and youngsters. They disposed of many of the our bodies by throwing them down a nicely.

One of many few survivors, a three-year-old boy referred to as Óscar, was kidnapped by one of many troopers and raised by the soldier’s mother and father.

The seek for the boy by a prosecutor investigating the bloodbath was the topic of a 2017 documentary referred to as Discovering Oscar.

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Media captionOscar was three when Guatemalan troops killed greater than 200 individuals from his village

Other than Santos López, 5 different former troopers have up to now been convicted for his or her roles within the killings at Dos Erres.

The bloodbath occurred throughout the transient rule of army strongman Efraín Ríos Montt, who was accused of ordering the killing of greater than 1,700 ethnic Mayans throughout a civil warfare.

He died in April aged 91 whereas on trial on prices of genocide.