Haley Behre:

A true victory for human rights. By prosecuting Rios Montt, it will strengthen the notion that people will be held accountable for crimes against humanity and genocide. I am especially glad that they have decided to hold him accountable for genocide, since the number of victims was not great (1,771 people). Some would say that this was just a consequence of war and that genocide requires many more deaths. But that is not true. Genocide is not and should not be determined by the number of deaths, but by the strategic and well devised plan to annihilate a group, in this case Indian villages.

Originally posted on One Blue Stocking:

Ríos MonttOn January 26, 2012, a Guatemalan court determined that there is enough evidence to charge former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt with genocide and crimes against humanity. The ruling marks a turning point in Guatemalan efforts to redress human rights violations perpetrated by the military against indigenous peoples during Ríos Montt’s “scorched earth” counterinsurgency operations in the 1980s.

Ríos Montt was the military leader for seventeen months in 1982 and 1983 after he took power and abolished the constitution. Prosecutor Manuel Vásquez told the court that he will produce documents, videos, and statements proving that Ríos Montt “had direct participation in the implementation of the plans” which resulted in the deaths of 1,771 people, 1,485 acts of sexual violence, and 29,000 Guatemalans being displaced.

For fourteen years, Ríos Montt had enjoyed immunity as a member of congress; however his term expired on January 14, opening the possibility of charges…

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About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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