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Next to him sat Estheelmer Reyes Giron, a former artillery lieutenant who is charged with the murder of a Q’eqchi woman and her two children, and with committing crimes of sexual violence for his role in running the base at Sepur Zarco.
Because these crimes are violations of international law, the men are also being charged with crimes against humanity.
A former lieutenant in the Guatemalan army, Reyes Giron is accused of leading what the prosecution has described as a strategic effort to crush peasant resistance.
Witnesses accused him of holding local leaders in a pit and executing them with hand grenades.
GUATEMALA CITY — When the audience filed into the courtroom, they found 38 boxes in three rows, sealed with masking tape and marked “Finca Tinajas.” It was Feb. A blouse, colored blue, with flowers.” Next to each garment, archaeologists laid little paper bags.
9, the seventh day of the Sepur Zarco trial in Guatemala City’s Palace of Justice. Inside the bags were human bones dug up with the clothing from the former military base at Finca Tinajas, in northeastern Guatemala.
Rosa Tiul, one of several Q’eqchi women who testified by videotape, said that after soldiers would return from patrols in search of families who had fled to the mountains, they would go to her house and rape her at gunpoint.
These cases parallel ones in other Latin American countries such as Argentina and Peru, where local prosecutor’s offices are going after former military officials for massacres and disappearances committed during their own Cold War-era dirty wars.
Sitting across the courtroom, starting alternately at the ceiling and the floor, was Heriberto Valdez Asig, a military auxiliary and municipal policeman accused of leading the raids that transported the six men to Finca Tinajas.
He is being charged with their forced disappearance, a crime under Guatemalan law.
Nurses gave them shots of contraceptives, and while on the base, the women were also made to prepare soldiers’ food and wash their clothing.
They said the soldiers knew their husbands had been taken and the women were defenseless. Coverage of the trial has largely focused on allegations of sexual slavery.