Genocide Case Witnesses Testify in Guatemalan Court

Source: CAIG and NISGUA
Date: 04/24/2008

The historic hearings in the genocide case continue. To date, seven eyewitnesses from three regions (Baja Verapaz, Quiché, and Huehuetenango) have testified to Judge Eduardo Cojulun Sánchez in the genocide case hearings. Their excruciating testimonies describe massacres and torture committed by the Guatemalan military.

While three of the men – Jesús Tecú, Tiburcio Tiuy, and Domingo Raymundo – had already testified in Spain this February, this was the first time for most of the witnesses to be able to stand in front of a judge and describe the heinous crimes that they experienced first-hand.
You can access updates on the genocide case here. Also see below for a summary of the testimonies.

Dates and witnesses:

April 17

Jesús Tecú Osorio – Jesús gave testimony about the massacre in Río Negro, Rabinal, Baja Verapaz on March 13, 1982 that left 177 people dead. He explained how he was captured by a civil patroller who took him to work as a slave in his home. When Jesús refused to be separated from his younger brother, the patroller killed his brother by slamming him against a rock.

News coverage:

Prensa Libre – 18th April

El Periodico – 18th April

April 21

Tiburcio Tiuy – Mr. Tiuy is an eyewitness to the massacre committed in Xix, Chajul, Quiché on February 16, 1982. He explained that in one case the soldiers cut a pregnant woman’s stomach open to remove her baby. Mr. Tiuy was captured by the army and tortured in different military bases over two long years. He described how the officers burned his eyes, neck, and stomach. He lifted his shirt to show the judge the marks of torture that he bears to this day on his body.

Francisco Bop – Mr. Bop witnessed the massacre in Ilóm, Chajul, Quiché on March 23, 1982. Mr. Bop recalled the arrival of the army to his town, the burning of homes and the killing of the civilian population. He noted that the massacre survivors had to leave their homes and live in Finca Santa Delfina in harrowing conditions.

Domingo Raymundo – Mr. Raymundo is a survivor of the massacre in San Francisco Javier in which over 30 people died and homes were burned on August 16, 1982. He described similarities between this massacre and those of Ilóm and Xix.

News coverage: Prensa Libre

April 22, 2008

Pedro Juan Marcos – Mr. Juan Marcos is an eyewitness of the massacre in Puente Alto, Barrillas, Huehuetenango. He spoke of the movements of the army from the military barracks in Barillas.

Mateo Pérez Juan Pérez Pablo – Mr. Pérez Pablo is eyewitness to the massacre in Petanac, Huehuetenango. He gave his testimony through a Chuj Mayan interpreter and spoke about his responsibility to tell his story in order to see justice done.

Edwin Canil Vicente – Mr. Canil Vicente is eyewitness to a massacre committed in Santa María Tzeja, Ixcán, Quiché on February 15, 1982 when he was six years old. His testimony lasted over an hour as he recounted in tears the massacre that took the lives of his mother, four siblings, grandmother, and cousins.

Press coverage: Prensa Libre

Categories: Genocide, Indigenous peoples, Justice

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