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Former high-ranking Guatemala military officers sentenced for crimes against humanity

[JURIST] Four former high-ranking Guatemalan military officers were found guilty [IJM report] Wednesday of crimes against humanity by the Guatemalan High-Risk Court C.

The officers were found guilty of sexually abusing an activist and the disappearance of her 14-year-old brother. They were sentenced to 58 years in jail. The family of the activist has been searching [Guardian report] for their son since October 6, 1981, when he was abducted by military officers and driven away.

The Guatemalan government acknowledged responsibility for grave crimes in 2000. This guilty verdict is seen as a potential end to anti-impunity because it was the first time senior military officers have been charged for serious human rights violations.

There were fears that the guilty verdict may not have arrived as the decision was delayed from its expected release on Tuesday. The verdict was released at 4:30 AM without a reason provided for the delay.

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