Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. He’s been sentenced to 80 years in prison.
Rios Montt has been convicted of ordering the deaths of over 1700 members of a Mayan ethnic group during his time in office in the early 1980s.
Family and supporters of the of the victims cheered when the sentence was handed down.
An emotional relative of one of those killed said she knew that the sentence could not erase the pain, but it guaranteed that the atrocities carried out by the army could not happen again. “I am happy about that, “ she said, “I don’t know if this is real happiness but at last I’ll be able to tell my brother that he can rest in peace and that his executioner is going to jail.”
Leaving the court room Rios Montt denied any involvement in the massacres, described the trial as a political show and launched an appeal.