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Guatemala high court drops charges in 1982 massacre case

[JURIST] Guatemala's Constitutional Court [official website] Friday ordered charges dropped against soldiers accused of participating in a 1982 massacre of more than 300 civilians, citing the countrys's National Reconciliation Law [PNS report]. The law is a type of amnesty the Guatemalan Congress approved in November 1996, a few weeks before the government and ex-guerrillas signed peace accords ending the country's 36-year-old civil war. It forbids amnesty for those implicated in cases of forced disappearance, torture or genocide, but fails to address extra-judicial executions that took the lives of countless Guatemalans during the 36-year armed conflict. There are at least five other pending cases involving similar massacres and this decision will serve as precedent for those cases. AP has more.

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