On May 10, 2013, Efraín Ríos Montt was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 80 years in prison. The conviction is the first in the world to charge an ex-head of state for genocide in the national court system of the country in which the crimes took place. This marked the culmination of 12 years of dedication and determination by the Association for Justice and Reconciliation and their legal team, the Center for Human Rights Legal Action.
Just 10 days later, Guatemala’s highest court, the Constitutional Court, overturned the historic sentence in a 3-2 decision and annulled trial proceedings that took place after April 19. Guatemala’s legacy of impunity has once again reared its head: deeply rooted power structures undermine the will of the survivors, the competence of the judges and the integrity of the process. Photo credit: Simone Dalmasso.