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6,060 year sentence in 1982 massacre in Guatemala [Photos]

August 4, 2011 |  7:28 am

Soldiers sentenced in Guatemala massacre
In 36 years of civil war, it was one of the most hideous incidents of repression: the massacre of 201 people in Dos Erres, Guatemala, in 1982. Four of those found responsible have each received a sentence of 6,060 years in prison.

It was a “landmark sentence” that sent a message of “justice” to the many thousands who fell victim to human-rights abuses during Guatemala’s civil war from 1960 to 1996, said Sebastian Elgueta, a Central America researcher at Amnesty International.

Photos from the trial

The sentences were handed down Tuesday against four former soldiers.

The sentences against Lt. Carlos Antonio Carias and special forces soldiers Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip and Daniel Martinez include 30 years for each victim and another 30 years for crimes against humanity. The defendants say they are innocent.

For three days in 1982, about 20 members of a special military unit with the Guatemalan military tortured and killed men, women and children in Dos Erres. Some were beaten with sledgehammers.


Human rights advocates applaud sentences in Guatemala massacre

-- A Los Angeles Times reporter

Photo: A woman attends the Guatemala City trial of four soldiers in the 1982 massacre in the village of Dos Erres. Credit: Rodrigo Abd / Associated Press