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Genocide charges - thirty years on

Nearly thirty years after the end of Guatemala’s civil war, a former armed forces chief has finally been arrested on charges of genocide, forced disappearances and crimes against humanity.

Retired general Hector Mario Lopez, 81, was detained in the capital, Guatemala City, on Friday, accused of being behind the killings of more than 300 indigenous Maya civilians from the Ixil region in 1982 and 1983.

Lopez, the highest-ranking former official to be arrested for massacres in the 1980s, was allegedly involved in about 200 massacres committed while he was chief of staff of the Guatemalan military between 1982 and 1983.

The Guatemalan civil war that started in 1960 cost about 200,000 lives before the government signed peace accords with leftist guerillas in 1996. Independent reports blame the armed forces for most of the deaths.

Read more here and here.

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