Friday, 25 November 2011

Guatemala update

Two of the "disappeared" have been identified in Guatemala. Union leader Amancio Villatoro and student leader Sergio Linares are the first victims that scientists have matched to Guatemala's military journal, known as the "death squad diary", a list of 183 citizens who disappeared at the hands of the army between 1983 and 1985.

Guatemala: War Victims Found (NY Times)
Guatemala identifies victims from death squad ledger (Reuters)

At the same time, a debate has broken out about a proposal to allow the over-80s to serve jail sentences under house arrest, rather than in prison - something which would obviously affect the aging human rights abusers in the country. This has been an issue in Argentina as well, and some of these supposed incidences of "house arrest" were so lax that the retired generals in question barely needed to adjust their social lives despite being convicted of the most serious crimes. I'm always opposed - a standard prison cell for the lot of them, regardless of age, I say. Nevertheless, I agree with Mike from Central American Politics that getting convictions at all must be the priority.

Guatemala proposal for aged inmates draws anger (AP)

Meanwhile, Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz has called for justice for the victims of the war.

"We want it to be clear that you can't use terror as a control mechanism," Paz y Paz said.

She also mentioned the problem of financial resources in battling organised crime.

Top Guatemala prosecutor warns on war crimes cases (Reuters)

No comments: