Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ex-Guatemalan soldier confesses to massacre killings

The Dos Erres massacre in 1982 was one of the worst mass killings during the Guatemalan civil war. Over three days a group of seventeen elite soldiers ransacked a village and callously murdered 251 men, women, and children. Some bodies were ditched in the village well while several survivors were killed in bushes and roads. For nearly three decades one of the troops accused of perpetrating the bloodbath lived in impunity. That is, until Wednesday when Gilberto Jordán was finally held accountable for his actions.

The former elite soldier for the Guatemalan army confessed in a federal court that he was one of the perpetrators of the Dos Erres massacre. Jordán pled guilty in court after he falsely denied on his citizenship papers that he was part of the murder. “Members of the special patrol also forcibly raped many of the women and girls at Dos Erres before killing them,” read an affidavit from Jordán that was submitted as part of a plea deal with immigration officials.

Jordán will be sentenced in September and he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and revocation of his naturalized citizenship. For some activists representing victims of the Dos Erres massacre, however, justice would best be served in Guatemala:
"We've asked the Attorney General's office to have him extradited to face human rights charges here for the killings of 250 men, women and children, rape and torture," Aura Elena Farfan, director of the Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared of Guatemala, or FAMDEGUA, told Reuters.
Image- Prensa Libre
Online Sources- Reuters, Wikipedia, McClatchy, Miami Herald, Democracy Now, UPI

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