In a case that represents the struggle to hold military officials accountable for human rights crimes committed during Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, the trial of top military intelligence official Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez is expected to result in a verdict on Wednesday, September 26. Rodríguez Sánchez is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity against Guatemala’s Maya Ixil population; prosecutors say he was behind the implementation of military plans that led to the deaths of some 10,000 people over a three-month period in 1982.
WOLA Senior Fellow Jo-Marie Burt, an internationally recognized expert on human rights and accountability in Guatemala, is in Guatemala City monitoring the outcome of the Rodríguez Sánchez case. An international monitor of the landmark genocide trial for Guatemalan dictator José Efraín Ríos Montt, Burt has written extensively about the Rodríguez Sánchez case, the significance of the upcoming verdict, and other war crimes trials in Guatemala for International Justice Monitor. She is available to comment on what this case has come to represent for survivors of wartime atrocities and the ongoing struggle for accountability, truth and justice in Guatemala.
WOLA Communications Assistant