General López Fuentes waits for his hearing to begin. Graham Hunt

On June 20, 2011, retired General Héctor Mario López Fuentes was indicted for genocide, crimes against humanity and forced disappearance.  As Army Chief of Staff under the de facto regime of General Efraín Ríos Montt, López Fuentes is accused of being responsible for the elaboration and execution of military operations including Plan Victoria ’82, Plan Firmeza ’83 and Plan Operación Sofía, under which the civilian population of Maya Ixil ethnicity was defined as an internal enemy and targeted as the base of support of the guerrilla movement.  Military plans, forensic evidence gathered from clandestine graves, and expert testimony on the functioning of Latin American militaries were presented as evidence.  Also submitted were numerous testimonies from survivors of the military’s scorched-earth policies in the municipalities of Nebaj, Chajul and Cotzal, called the Ixil Triangle by the Guatemalan military.

The primary plaintiffs in the case are the Association for Justice and Reconciliation (AJR) and Center for Human Rights Legal Action (CALDH).  NISGUA has provided international human rights accompaniment for both the AJR and CALDH since the filing of the national genocide cases in 2000 and 2001.

Retired General Hector López Fuentes (right) during court proceedings.  In the background, the legal representative of the AJR, Julia Cortéz.   The AJR and CALDH are the plaintiffs in the case. Graham Hunt

General López Fuentes looks on as his defense lawyers box the evidence presented against him by the Public Ministry. Graham Hunt