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Ex-ruler charged with genocide in Guatemala

Ex-ruler charged with genocide in Guatemala
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Guatemala’s former military dictator will face charges of genocide and crimes against humanity in connection with the deaths of indigenous people killed under his rule.

A judge in the Central American country has decided Efrain Rios Montt should be held accountable for brutality that occurred while he was dictator.

Members of the indigenous Ixil tribe were in court for the ruling that Rios Montt be kept under house arrest until the preliminary hearing in March.

People from the tribe were also outside the courtroom in Guatemala City, as the judge decided there is sufficient evidence for Rios Montt to stand trial – despite the 85-year-old’s defence team claiming he was not in charge of battlefield operations.

The prosecution accuse Rios Montt of masterminding an attack that killed almost 1,800 Ixil tribe members and caused 29,000 to flee between 1982-83. The tribe were said to be helping leftist insurgents.

Rios Montt ruled the country for 17 months during a civil war that lasted 36 years.