“This court believes the testimony of the Achi women”
In the case of the 36 Maya Achi Women Survivors of Sexual Violence, yesterday, five men were sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in jail for crimes committed, during the Internal Armed Conflict, against Maya Achi Women between 1981 and 1983. Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado, Damian Cuxum Alvarado, Francisco Cuxum Alvarado, Benvenuto Ruiz Auino, and Bernardo Ruiz Aquino were found guilty of crimes against humanity.
Sandra Cuffe writes, in The Guardian, on the victory in court for the women.
Indigenous women raped by paramilitaries during Guatemala’s brutal civil war have triumphed in court, when their aggressors were sentenced to 30 years each in prison.
In a verdict hailed as a vindication for survivors who have spent years fighting for justice, a tribunal convicted five former paramilitary patrolmen of crimes against humanity for the rape of five Maya Achi women in the early 1980s.
“The tribunal recognised the use of sexual violence during the armed conflict because it was systematic, and it also established how the army used the [paramilitaries] to commit those crimes,” Caxaj told the Guardian.
The verdict is also slightly bittersweet. A group of 36 Maya Achi survivors initiated the legal proceedings that eventually led to Monday’s verdict, but three of the women died in the intervening period, including one just last week.
You can read the full piece, here, Victory in court for indigenous women raped during Guatemala’s civil war.
You can read more about the case here, Weaving Justice with the 36 Maya Achi Women, and here, In Guatemala, Ex-Paramilitaries Face Trial for Wartime Rape of Indigenous Women.