On June 17th, General Héctor Mario López Fuentes was captured in
Guatemala City, twenty-nine years after having initiated the execution
of Plan Victoria 82, developed by the Army Chief of Staff and Efraín
Ríos Montt’s de facto government. He is accused of having perpetrated
genocide against the Maya Ixil people in the years 1982-83.
General López Fuentes was trained at the US Army School of the Americas, now known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC). Numerous graduates of the SOA/WHINSEC, like López Fuentes, have a long record of torturing, disappearing and massacring their own people.
The following statement was released by the Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala (NISGUA):
"After ten long years of struggle, we join the Association for Justice and Reconciliation and the Center for Human Rights Legal Action in applauding the arrest of General Héctor Mario López Fuentes, marking the first arrest in the case against genocide in Guatemala. The initial hearing against López Fuentes will be held this coming Monday.
"At this moment NISGUA, The Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala, wants to share with you the words of the AJR and CALDH as they announce this historic advance in the pursuit of justice in Guatemala. NISGUA links people in the U.S. and Guatemala in the grassroots global struggle for justice, human dignity and respect for the Earth. Formed at the height of Guatemala's war in 1981, NISGUA's network today is comprised of thousands of people across the U.S. who demand justice for genocidal crimes of the past, push to change current U.S. policies, challenge corporate-led development in Guatemala, and advocate for grassroots alternatives:
"'On June 17th, General Héctor Mario López Fuentes was captured in Guatemala City, twenty-nine years after having initiated the execution of Plan Victoria 82, developed by the Army Chief of Staff and Efraín Ríos Montt’s de facto government. He is accused of having perpetrated genocide against the Maya Ixil people in the years 1982-83.
'The victims and survivors of genocide have knocked on the doors of justice for more than ten years. Today the justice system has the opportunity to prosecute genocide, a crime which is an affront to the dignity of all humanity. These events fill us with hope and motivate us to continue the fight against forgetting.
'We express our satisfaction at this arrest. We hope that the authorities continue to pursue the judicial process against him, and that he will be the first to be convicted of the many responsible for genocide that remain at liberty. We will continue on the path towards justice, recuperating our history and speaking the truth.
'We invite you to accompany us in this process, which is historic not only for our country, but for Latin America and the world. We will show that our justice system CAN work, and has the capacity and courage to prosecute the crime of genocide.' "
Click here to find out more