Who is Efrain Rios Montt?

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt has been found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the country's bloody civil war.

It is the first time a former head of state had been found guilty of genocide in their own country.

  • Rios Montt seized power in a 1982 coup and ruled until he was overthrown just over a year later.
  • His period in power was the bloodiest of the country's 36-year civil war.
  • Accused of implementing a scorched-earth policy in which troops massacred thousands of indigenous villagers.
  • Returned to the political limelight when he ran for president in 2003, and again in 2006.
  • Was back in public office in 2007 as a member of Congress, which secured him immunity from prosecution over war crimes allegations.
  • Immunity expired with the end of his term in office in January 2012.
  • Within weeks, he was summoned to court before being tried over the killings of at least 1,771 members of the Maya Ixil indigenous group, in what Amnesty International hailed as the trial of the decade.

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Genocide dictator found guilty

Former Guatemalan leader Efrain Rios Montt has been sentenced to 80 years in prison after being found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity during the bloodiest phase of the country's 36-year civil war.