GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala’s government handed over a military document on Thursday containing evidence soldiers massacred villagers during the country’s civil war which could help prosecute top officials for genocide.
A copy of a military file dating from the 1980s, complete with maps, telegrams and hand-written patrol reports about an operation known as “Plan Sofia,” was mailed anonymously to President Alvaro Colom last year.
Colom’s government verified its authenticity and passed it to the attorney general’s office, which has a long-running case against the Central American country’s former dictator, Efrain Rios Montt, accusing him of ordering the murder of thousands of civilians.
The document was also turned over for use in a parallel case in Spain, brought by Mayan human rights activist Rigoberta Menchu, which accuses Rios Montt of carrying out genocide during his 1982-83 rule.
Nearly a quarter of a million people, mostly native Mayans, died during the 36-year-long civil war pitting leftist guerrillas against security forces.
Rios Montt, now 83, still serves in Guatemala’s Congress.
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