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Guatemala: Military documents to enter into evidence of the ongoing trial on genocide of Maya Ixil Indigenous People

Guatemala City, Guatemala - This and next week of the ongoing historic genocide trial against former Guatemalan military general Manuel Benedicto Lucas García, international experts will bring forth indisputable evidence about the military intelligence and operations of the Guatemalan armed forces during the genocide of the Maya Ixil indigenous people in the early 1980s.

The trial against Guatemalan ex-general Manuel Benedicto Lucas García began on March 25, 2024 in the First Court of Criminal Sentencing, Drug Trafficking and Crimes against the Environment, for High Risk Proceedings, Group “A” in Guatemala City. He is being tried for crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity for the forced disappearances and massacres of the Maya Ixil people between August 16, 1981 and March 23, 1982 in Santa María Nebaj, San Juan Cotzal and San Gaspar Chajul, from which over 844 victims have been identified. 

In April and May, more than 50 survivors and 25 national experts provided evidence through testimonies and research. From June 4 to 13, 2024, around 10 international experts will testify on topics including the credibility of testimonial evidence, anti-subversive warfare doctrine, military intelligence, declassified U.S. documents, environmental damage, and gender and sexual violence impacts.

In the coming two weeks, from June 4 to 13, 2024, around 10 international experts will take the stand, to provide testimonies on:

International standards of credibility of testimonial evidence; Anti-subversive warfare doctrine in Guatemala; Military Intelligence and Operations; Declassified Military documents from the U.S. State Department; Scorched Earth: Environmental damage as part of genocidal intent; and Impacts of Gender and Sexual Violence.

The testimonies of international experts and the presentation of declassified military documents will shed further light on the atrocities committed by Manuel Benedicto Lucas García and the Guatemalan armed forces in the early 1980s. 

40 years later, the Maya Ixil Indigenous people have yet to receive justice- or even acknowledgment from the Guatemalan government that such atrocities occurred. We urge the public to amplify the voices of the Maya Ixil people, who are voicing their truths and, in the process, reliving their traumas in the march towards long-awaited justice. We call upon the United States to recognize its own complicity in financing and supporting the Guatemalan armed forces in the genocide of Indigenous peoples in Guatemala. We call for justice for the Ixil Genocide survivors and victims, their families, and the Indigenous people of Guatemala. 

You can access past and future summaries of the trial against Manuel Benedicto Lucas García through (1) Live broadcast from the Facebook channel @verdadjusticag and, and (2) the Network of Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA)’s social media (FB: @NISGUA.Guate | X: @NISGUA_Guate | Instagram: @nisgua_solidarida).

AJR (Association for Justice and Reconciliation) is a community-based organization representing genocide survivors in Guatemala, and the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA) is a solidarity organization linking people in the U.S. and Guatemala in the global grassroots struggle for justice, human dignity and respect for the Earth.