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  • Former Army Chief of Staff Manuel Benedicto Lucas Garcia is among 11 military officials accused of crimes against humanity.

    Former Army Chief of Staff Manuel Benedicto Lucas Garcia is among 11 military officials accused of crimes against humanity. | Photo: EFE

Published 18 January 2016

Eleven of the 14 military officers arrested last week have been indicted for their involvement in the disappearance of nearly 600 Guatemalan civilians.

Eleven former military officers have been indicted for the forced disappearances of at least 558 Guatemalan civilians between 1981 and 1988, Monday.

The charges come after a government excavation uncovered the remains of the 558 bodies in a clandestine mass grave in Guatemala’s Coban area, home to former military base 21.

The bones of the exhumed victims showed signs of torture and ligature marks.

Former Army Chief of Staff Manuel Benedicto Lucas Garcia (1978-1982) and military officials Gustavo Alonzo Rosales, Jose Antonio Vasquez García, Byron Humberto Barrientos and Ismael Segura Abularach are among those accused of the forced disappearances and crimes against humanity.

“Eleven military officers linked to forced disappearances.”

The prosecution has requested that the 11 former officers be sent to pre-trial detention.

Of the 14 officers arrested Jan 6, Judge Claudette Dominguez  found there was insufficient evidence against three: Carlos Humberto Rodríguez López, Edgar Rolando Hernández and Pablo Roberto Saucedo

The three officers will remain under house arrest until investigations come to a close.

RELATED: Expert: Guatemala Arrest of 14 War Criminals a Major Step

Guatemalan prosecutors have described the discovery of the 558 bodies as one of the largest cases of forced disappearance cases in Latin America.


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