Guatemala detains 9 ex-soldiers, militia in 1982 massacre

Feb 1, 2022, 9:41 PM | Updated: Feb 2, 2022, 11:48 am

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Guatemala said Wednesday they have detained nine former soldiers and militia members for a 1982 massacre of 25 people.

Those charged include members of the army and pro-government “civilian patrols.” The patrols functioned as pro-government militias to help the army fight leftist guerrillas, and like the army they faced widespread accusations of committing atrocities.

The massacre occurred June 29, 1982 in the village of Pacoj. Like many of the estimated 400 massacres committed between 1982 and 1983, this one occurred in the western province of Baja Verapaz.

The massacres are classified as crimes against humanity and have no statute of limitations.

Guatemala’s 1960-1996 civil war pitted the army and police against leftist rebels, and resulted in more than 200,000 deaths.

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Guatemala detains 9 ex-soldiers, militia in 1982 massacre