Green Room

Great news: Former genocidal despot has really good appeals lawyers

posted at 11:12 pm on May 20, 2013 by

Remember when everyone congratulated Guatemala for being the first Latin American country to try and convict a former despot for genocide?  Er …  never mindat least for now:

Guatemala’s top court overturned the genocide conviction of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt and ordered on Monday that his trial restart.

Constitutional Court secretary Martin Guzman said the trial needs to go back to where it stood on April 19 to solve several appeal issues.

The ruling came 10 days after a three-judge panel convicted the 86-year-old Rios Montt of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in massacres of Mayans during Guatemala’s civil war. It found he knew about the slaughter of at least 1,771 Ixil Mayans in the western highlands and didn’t stop it.

Rios Montt only served one whole day in prison; he’s now in a hospital awaiting the replay of his trial.  On the bright side, it doesn’t sound like Rios Montt’s chances are improving with the do-over:

The trial had been nearing closing arguments when that judge, Carol Patricia Flores, intervened. Flores had been in charge of the first phase of the trial, in which evidence was gathered and determined to justify a trial, but she was removed from the case in February 2012 after defense lawyers charged her with bias.

Flores was reinstated to the case in early April by the Constitutional Court. She tried to halt the trial, but the tribunal hearing the case went ahead with testimony and convicted Rios Montt.

Hopefully, Guatemala will get the opportunity to be the first Latin American country to succeed in twice convicting a former despot of genocide.

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The harsh reality of the world is that the Romanians did this thing the way it needs to be done with Ceaucescu and his wife when they fell – a 20 minute “trial” at 4 in the morning, then a quick appointment with a machine gun squad a couple hours later. Qaddafi got, and deserved, the same level of Justice.

Get the job done, then let the wonks argue about the fine points of propriety. Remember, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

Tom Servo on May 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Which reminds me… How’s O.J. doing?

viking01 on May 20, 2013 at 11:59 PM

You might want to look into this a little more before you assume this guy is guilty. There was an opinion piece in the WSJ yesterday making the case that this guy is a victim of leftists seeking revenge. I don’t know the truth, and I’m not going to jump to conclusions.

Mark1971 on May 21, 2013 at 12:24 AM

Mark1971 on May 21, 2013 at 12:24 AM

True.

In Central America it could be nearly as corrupt as our Department of JustUs.

viking01 on May 21, 2013 at 12:36 AM

The harsh reality of the world is that the Romanians did this thing the way it needs to be done with Ceaucescu and his wife when they fell – a 20 minute “trial” at 4 in the morning, then a quick appointment with a machine gun squad a couple hours later. Qaddafi got, and deserved, the same level of Justice.

Get the job done, then let the wonks argue about the fine points of propriety. Remember, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

Tom Servo on May 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

While I agree with your overall sentiment, you are wrong in this case. Ceaucescu and Qaddafi had just been removed from power when they were executed. It the immediacy that makes it just. In contrast, Rios Montt was a dictator a long time ago. He should have the type of trial he has been given.

By the way, Rios Montt was a social con hero back in the 80′s. I suppose you could call him a pro-life genocidist.

thuja on May 21, 2013 at 6:38 AM

The harsh reality of the world is that the Romanians did this thing the way it needs to be done with Ceaucescu and his wife when they fell – a 20 minute “trial” at 4 in the morning, then a quick appointment with a machine gun squad a couple hours later. Qaddafi got, and deserved, the same level of Justice.

Get the job done, then let the wonks argue about the fine points of propriety. Remember, Justice Delayed is Justice Denied.

Tom Servo on May 20, 2013 at 11:45 PM

Interestingly, there was a recent documentary where Romanians talked about how important it was to them to see the footage of the Ceaucescus being executed. It was a real emotional cathartic for them.

Blake on May 21, 2013 at 9:54 AM

By the way, Rios Montt was a social con hero back in the 80′s. I suppose you could call him a pro-life genocidist.

thuja on May 21, 2013 at 6:38 AM

A “social con hero?” Wow, you really are a piece of filth.

Doomberg on May 21, 2013 at 3:34 PM

The Left’s Cold War Revenge in Guatemala

The 36-year war between communist guerrillas and the Guatemalan state that ended with peace agreements in 1996 was bloody and torturous. Both sides committed atrocities. Thousands died. Indians and mixed-race Guatemalans living in rural areas experienced the brunt of the violence.

Yet the claim that the Guatemalan state, led by the general, engaged in genocide—that is, an attempt to destroy totally or partially the Ixil people or displace them—is not supported by the facts. On the contrary, a serious reading of the history suggests that the general bested the guerrillas by empowering those Indians who did not want anything to do with the upper-middle-class ideas of revolution that were being foisted on them. The trial of Mr. Ríos Montt, 30 years after the fact, is more a score-settling exercise by the international left than a search for truth and justice.

http://babalublog.com/2013/05/20/the-lefts-cold-war-revenge-in-guatemala/#more-129207

The trial of Rios Montt is a piece of political theatre concocted by Guatemalan Leftists to find a scape-goat upon whom to lay the blame for 36 years of bloody civil war. They picked a general who ruled for less than 18 months. He may be guilty of atrocities, as were the Leftists he fought against, as were the other rulers who came before and after Montt, but it was a travesty of law to convict Montt of genocide.

Wombat on May 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM

Former genocidal despot has really good appeals lawyers

Oh, I thought this was a Gosnell post.

itsnotaboutme on May 22, 2013 at 7:18 AM