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Guatemala's Evangelical Dictator Found Guilty of Genocide

(Updated) Guatemala's high court has overturned the genocide conviction against Efraín Ríos Montt, whom American evangelicals once championed.

Update (May 21): USA Today reports that Efrain Rios Montt's conviction on charges of genocide has been overturned, throwing the trial into "disarray."

According to Reuters, "In a ruling on Monday, the country's Constitutional Court ordered that all the proceedings be voided going back to April 19, when one of the presiding judges suspended the trial because of a dispute with another judge over who should hear it."


Thirty years after Guatemalan army general-turned-dictator Efrain Rios Montt, a longtime lay pastor in Guatemala's Pentecostal Verbo Church and once popular among American evangelicals, was removed from power, a three-judge panel has declared him guilty of genocide against a Mayan ethnic group.

Judges sentenced Montt to 80 years in prison–50 years for charges of genocide, and 30 years for crimes against humanity–for ordering the deaths of 1,700 Ixil ethnic Mayans. According to the Los Angeles Times, "The landmark ruling by a panel of three Guatemalan judges came after a dramatic ...

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