Saturday, February 27, 2016

Military Perpetrators of Sexual Slavery, Rape, and Murder Found Guilty in Guatemala

There were jubilant scenes in court when the verdict was announced
[this AP image is from here]
Mientras exista justicia para el más débil, para el desfavorecido, hay esperanza en un futuro digno para todos.  [translation at the bottom of this post]


"This is historic, it is a great step for women and above all for the victims" -- Rigoberta Menchu, Nobel Peace Prize winner who attended the hearing


From the BBC, 27 February 2016:

Guatemala: Rape sentences in landmark military trial

A Guatemala court has sentenced two former members of the military to 360 years in jail for the murder, rape and sexual enslavement of indigenous women.

Francisco Reyes Giron and Heriberto Valdez Asij were found guilty of crimes against humanity.

The historic ruling is the first successful prosecution for sexual violence committed during Guatemala's military conflict in the 1980s.

There were jubilant scenes in court as the judge read out the sentence.

"This is historic, it is a great step for women and above all for the victims," said Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu, who attended the hearing.

Francisco Reyes Giron, who was the commander of the Sepur Zarco military base, was found guilty of holding 15 women in sexual and domestic slavery and for killing one woman and her two daughters.

Heriberto Valdez Asij, a paramilitary who carried out commissions for the army, was convicted for the same enslavement, as well as the forced disappearance of seven men.

The victims have been demanding accountability for the crimes at Sepur Zarco for decades.

For the rest of that story, please go to *this BBC site*. But for more, please also go to Global Voices or Intercontinental Cry for *this report*. From that article, this excerpt:

While international observers praised the efforts of the national courts, a deep reflection came from the national organisation comprising all universities — the CEUG (in Spanish, Coordinadora Estudiantil Universitaria de Guatemala), which has played a crucial role recently in the battle against corruption, summarised in one line why the ruling is vital for the future of the nation:

Mientras exista justicia para el más débil, para el desfavorecido, hay esperanza en un futuro digno para todos. 

[As long as there is justice for the underdog, for the vulnerable, there is hope for a dignifying future for all of us #SepurZarco]




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