Perpetuating Impunity: Guatemala’s Congress Votes to Deny Genocide

On Tuesday, the Guatemalan Congress voted to deny that genocide took place during the country’s 36 year conflict (1960-1996) which left approximately 250,00 people, mainly indigenous Mayans, dead or disappeared. The vote was aimed at “national reconciliation,” as well as to lessen pressure against former dictator Rios Montt (pictured here with his ally Ronald Reagan), whose trial for genocide and crimes against humanity during his 1982-1983 rule is set to reconvene in January. Rather than bringing about reconciliation, Congress’s vote “makes a mockery of the victims,” explained Benjamín Gerónimo, a representative of people bringing a trial against Montt. Congress, he told reporters, “wants to maintain impunity so that the truth is not known.”