On February 26, 2016, High Risk “A” Tribunal in Guatemala convicted military officers Esteelmer Reyes Girón and Heriberto Valdez Asig of sexual violence and domestic and sexual slavery against 15 Maya Q’eqchi’ women, as well as several counts of homicide and enforced disappearance. This was the first time a Guatemalan court has prosecuted a case of sexual violence related to the country’s 36-year civil war. The three-judge panel sentenced Reyes Girón to 120 years in prison, while Valdez Asig was sentenced to 240 years.
Human rights activists hailed the judgment as a landmark ruling that demonstrates Guatemala’s commitment to assuring victim’s rights to truth and justice in grave crimes cases and as an important step in the global struggle to end all forms of violence against women.
Jo-Marie Burt writes on the International Justice Monitor website and you can read of the reactions, and more, here.