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Genocide Ixil Case

Above photo: Ixil Genocide trial, April 5th, 2024, Guatemala City. Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala – NISGUA.

On April 5th, 2024, the oral and public debate against former military officer: Benedicto Lucas García, accused in the Ixil Genocide case and driven by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR), was resumed by the High-Risk “A” Court.

The Public Ministry stated in its opening arguments that it will prove that during the period from August 16, 1981 to March 23, 1982, Manuel Benedicto Lucas García is responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, forced disappearances, and massacres against at least 844 identified victims for this case, which will be proven through witnesses and experts’ testimonies. It also emphasized that behind these 844 names are entire families who were massacred.

During Benedicto Lucas García’s tenure as Chief of the Guatemalan Army, the attacks on the Ixil Mayan people in Santa María Nebaj, San Juan Cotzal, and San Gaspar Chajul, were intensified.

On her part, lawyer Jovita Tzul Tzul from CALDH (Center for Legal Action in Human Rights) stated: “The existence of the facts of this crime cannot be denied, and to deny it would be to deny the history of Guatemala. For more than 36 years, serious acts of violence against the Ixil Mayan people have been known with the aim of exterminating them.”

During her arguments, the lawyer highlighted that among other genocidal acts carried out by the army under Lucas García’s supervision are persecution, psychological and physical torture, bombings, burning of communities, death by starvation, collective and public sexual violence, among other acts.

She also honored the 50 survivors who passed away before testifying and emphasized that this trial is “an opportunity for Guatemala once again to acknowledge these facts. In two previous trials, it has been established that there was indeed genocide in Guatemala,” and she hopes that through truth and justice, these acts will not be repeated.

The anthropologist expert reinforced the findings documented by the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala (FAFG) regarding the exhumations carried out in 2010 of mass, collective, and individual graves, including those of children, women, and the elderly.

Lawyer Jovita Tzul Tzul asked the expert about patterns of aggression against children, which according to the expert, include direct executions, body burnings, forced displacements, and death due to lack of food.

At 5:30 in the afternoon, the hearing was adjourned and rescheduled for Monday, April 8th, at 8:30 a.m. Watch here the live broadcast of the trial (audio available only in Spanish)

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