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Ex-Guatemalan Dictator Gets 80 Years

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt
A court in Guatemala has found the country’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 80 years in prison.

Rios Montt, 86, can appeal the sentence, which was handed down May 10 in Guatemala City.

The charges relate to the massacres of indigenous people during Guatemala’s 1960-96 civil war.

Rios Montt seized power in 1982 and ruled until 1983, during what is widely seen as one of the bloodiest periods of the 36-year war between the military and leftist rebels.

Under Rios Montt, the army carried out a campaign of rape, torture, and arson against indigenous peoples, accusing them of backing rebel forces.

Upward of 200,000 people are estimated to have been killed in the war.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP