Guatemala | Court Throws Out Montt's Genocide Conviction
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Court Throws Out Montt's Genocide Conviction
On May 20, 2013, the highest court in Guatemala overturned the genocide conviction of General Efraín Ríos Montt. The ruling was a legal victory for Montt, the former dictator, and a defeat for human rights advocates who saw the original conviction as a positive sign that the country's courts would punish Guatemala's most powerful for illegal activity.
Montt had been in prison since a three-panel tribunal found him guilty on May 10, 2013. He had been found guilty as commander in chief for several rapes and massacres as well as the displacement of the Maya-Ixil community while he ruled in 1982 and 1983. He had been sentenced to 80 years in prison, but the latest ruling meant he would return to house arrest. Montt had been under house arrest since January 2012 when the case against him started.