(AFP) – Mar 20, 2012
GUATEMALA CITY — A Guatemalan court on Tuesday ordered five former paramilitaries to 7,710 years each in prison for their part in a 1982 massacre of 256 Indians during the country's civil war.
Judge Jazmi Barrios gave each of the soldiers 30 years for each person killed in the massacre plus 30 for crimes against humanity, saying the group acted with "wickedness and cruelty" towards their victims.
Four of the defendants were part of the Civil Self-Defense Patrols (PAC) while the fifth served as military commissioner.
The massacre of Achi Maya Indians occurred on July 18, 1982 in the northern Guatemalan municipality of Rabinal, during the 1982-1983 administration of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt.
A United Nations Truth Commission documented 669 massacres during Guatemala's civil war, of which 626 were attributed to government forces. Most were committed between 1982 and 1986 during the de facto governments of Rios Montt and Oscar Mejia Victores, according to the United Nations.
An estimated 200,000 people were killed or missing during the 1960-1996 civil war.
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