The Spanish National Court began hearing a second round of testimonies on May 26th, 2008 from the survivors of state violence in Guatemala. The following is a report on the hearings.
July 29, 2008
Guatemalan Genocide Trial in Spanish
Court: An Observer's Report
Judge Santiago Pedraz from the Spanish National Court began hearing a second round of testimonies on May 26 from 5 survivors of state sponsored scorched earth operations that decimated hundreds of Mayan communities. The Guatemalan Genocide Case began in 1999 when a criminal complaint was filed in Spain by Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Guatemalan non-governmental organization against Guatemalan government officials charging them with terrorism, genocide and systematic torture.
Six former Guatemalan officials, including former presidents Efraín Ríos Montt and Oscar Humberto Mejía Victores, face charges of genocide in the trial in Spanish court. (Two other former officials accused in the case have since died.) In spite of the December 2007 decision of the Guatemalan Constitutional Court to deny Spain's request to extradite the named defendants, the Spanish National Court has decided to proceed with its investigations.
Kate Doyle of the non-governmental research institute National Security Archive, based in Washington, DC observed the trial's second round and filed the a report based on her observations. Click here to read the full report.