Ex-Guatemalan dictator, charged with genocide dies

ANI | Updated: Apr 02, 2018 06:28 IST

Guatemala City [Guatemala], April 2 (ANI): Former Guatemalan military dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who was convicted of genocide and crimes against humanity, died on Sunday in Guatemala City aged 91.

The former General died of the heart attack, the New York Times, reported, quoting his lawyers Jaime Hernandez and Luis Rosales as saying.

Rios Montt was convicted in 2013 of genocide and crimes against humanity for the killing of over 1,700 ethnic Mayans by security forces under his command during a civil war.

The former General, who was then 86, maintained his innocence and said at his trial, "I never did it. Of everything that has been said here, there has never been any evidence of my participation."

Judge Yasmín Barrios said she was "completely convinced" of General Ríos Montt's guilt and had sentenced him to 80 years of imprisonment but the ruling was swiftly set aside and a new trial ordered.

He is survived by his wife, María Teresa; a son, Enrique, who served as army chief of staff but resigned after being charged with embezzlement; and a daughter, Zury, a former member of Congress who is married to a Republican former member of the United States Congress, Gerald C. Weller, the report said.

His trial eventually resumed in October last year behind closed doors and in special conditions because of his deteriorating mental health.(ANI)