Please set value(s) for component.

American Bar Association asks that Guatemalan trial related to Maya Ixil genocide be public

Advertisement

Search ABA News

  • Media

  • ABA News Sections

  • Key Issues

American Bar Association asks that Guatemalan trial related to Maya Ixil genocide be public

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, July 5, 2016 — The American Bar Association has filed an amicus brief with the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, asking the high court to order that a trial stemming from charges of genocide committed against the Maya Ixil ethnic group be open to the public.

L

The brief was filed in anticipation of action by the Constitutional Court on whether the former head of state of Guatemala, José Efraín Ríos Montt, and his head of intelligence, José Mauricio Rodríguez Sánchez, should be tried separately on charges related to allegations of genocide and crimes against humanity. The joint trial has previously been closed to the public due to Ríos Montt’s health issues, but separating the trials would enable the trial of Rodríguez Sánchez to be held publicly.

The ABA brief outlines relevant international standards regarding the need for a public trial in the case, and the ABA’s position is consistent with one of its four main goals — to advance the rule of law globally, which includes seeking accountability for human rights violations.

The ABA brief asks the Guatemalan Constitutional Court to take into account that some sectors of Guatemalan society still deny the occurrence of many violations and the existence of genocide during its internal armed conflict. Public disclosure of the facts through a court proceeding could improve Guatemalan confidence in its judicial system and government and prevent the repetition of human rights violations, the brief said.

An unofficial English translation of the ABA brief is available by contacting Maria Gutierrez at 202-662-1091 or Maria.Gutierrez@americanbar.org.

A Spanish translation of this new release is available online here.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews