March 20, 2013.
The trial of General Efrain Rios Montt, 86, the former US-backed de facto president of Guatemala, has begun over the killing of almost 1,800 indigenous people during his country's civil war.
Rios Montt, 86, seized power in a coup in March 1982 and ruled until he was overthrown in August 1983.
Prosecutors alleged on Tuesday that Rios Montt "turned a blind eye" as soldiers used rape, torture and arson against leftist fighters and targeted indigenous people in a "scorched earth" offensive that killed at least 1,771 members of the Mayan Ixil group.
Nicolas Brito, an indigenous Ixil, was the first of at least 150 witnesses expected to give their testimony in the trial of the first Latin American leader to be tried on genocide charges in his own country.
Brito told how he escaped the army's 1982 attack on the village of Canaque in Santa Maria Nebaja before they burned and destroyed it.
He said he saw the soldiers kill many women who were unable to flee because they were preparing tortilla dough when the army arrived.
"The soldiers tore the victims' hearts out and put them on a little table," Brito said. "They piled them there." Jose Rodriguez Sanchez, 68, a former high-ranking member of the military chiefs of staff, is also being tried with Rios Montt.
Read the rest here.
*****Comment: Anyone surprised that the US would back a military dictator accused of killing 1 800 indigenous people?
Then again where is Obama today - a decade after the US led an invasion of like minded murderers to 'free' Iraqis from Saddam?
In Israel of course where he will no doubt be lobbied to attack Iran.
And all the while Obama will ignore the concentration camps that make up what is Palestine under the military occupation of Israel.
The US government knows how to exterminate people and especially indigenous peoples - its history is steeped in that original sin.
Just ask the Indians.