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Guatemala: Ixil Genocide Case – Lucas Garcia

During the time of the military government of Romeo Lucas García (1978-1982), the Guatemalan state and army designed and implemented its policy of genocide. While Romero Lucas García was in power, more than 1,700 people were victims of the crimes of genocide, forced disappearance and crimes against humanity by the military operations deployed in the Maya Ixil region. Currently, two former military chiefs will face trial for these crimes in the Ixil Lucas García Genocide Case.

The syndicates:

  • Benedicto Lucas García: Chief of the General Staff of the Army. Brother of former President Romeo Lucas García.
  • Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas: Head of Military Intelligence, G2 (in January 2024 he was declared “mentally unable” to face trial by common law)
  • César Noguera Argueta: Chief of Military Operations, G3 (died in October 2020 while waiting for the resolution to open trial)

Lucas García and Callejas y Callejas have been in prison since 2016, having been sentenced in 2018 to 58 years for crimes against humanity, aggravated sexual violence and forced disappearance in the case of Emma and Marco Antonio Molina Theissen.

The defendants were linked to the process in November 2019. The Trial was supposed to start in 2022, however, after a series of excusals of several judges and a recusal brought by the plaintiff AJR, the court was not integrated until April 2023. At the same time, during 2023 the defense of the accused Callejas y Callejas required medical studies and examinations to evaluate his mental capacity, studies that concurred in the “MENTAL INABILITY” of the defendant to face trial by common law.

As a consequence, on January 3, 2024, the Court resolved to separate the Trial into two:
1) A common trial open to the public against the accused Manuel Benedicto Lucas García and
2) a trial behind closed doors and without the presence of the accused in order to apply special measures to protect the health of Manuel Antonio Callejas y Callejas.

The organization we accompany in this case is the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR).

Third trial for genocide against the Maya Ixil people between 1978 -1982 in Guatemala begins