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Guatemala military committed genocide and crimes against humanity, domestic tribunal rules

Guatemala’s military committed genocide and crimes against humanity during the country’s 36-year war, a court has ruled, while acquitting the former intelligence chief of all charges.

Guatemalan judges on the tribunal ruled unanimously that the military forces had committed genocide, however the intelligence chief Jose Mauricio Rodriguez was acquitted in a 2-1 decision, Al Jazeera reports.

Over the course of the war between 1960 and 1996, more than 200,000 people were killed and another 43,000 were forcibly disappeared. More than 80 percent of the victims were indigenous Maya people.

Judge Sara Yoc, the dissenting vote on the Rodriguez ruling, said the former military intelligence commander absolutely would have known that the military was carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity. His role was to monitor and supervise intelligence-gathering from all regions, including information gathered through torture, she added.

"To me, [Rodriguez] is responsible for genocide," Yoc said.