Saturday, July 5, 2014

Former Guatemalan Rebel Commander Sentenced To 90 Years In Prison

Fermin Felipe Solano Barillas

Guatemalan court convicted the first rebel leader involved in the massacre of 22 pro-government farmers during the civil war.

By H. Nelson Goodson
July 5, 2014

Chimaltenango, Guatemala - On Friday, Guatemalan Judge Walter Jiménez in Chimaltenango sentenced Fermin Felipe Solano Barrillas, aka, "Lieutenant (Teniente) David" a former rebel commander for the Organized People's Revolutionary Armed Forces associated with the United National Guatemalan Revolutionary Forces to 90 years in prison. Barrillas became the first former rebel leader to be convicted and sentenced to 30 years for crimes against humanity and 60 years for mass murder for his connection in the massacre of 22 pro-government farmers in the town of El Aguacate during the 1960-1991 civil war. Barrillas was in charged of a ten men group of rebels who strangled and murdered the farmers who were believed to be collaborating with government forces.
Evidence against Barillas indicated that between November 22-25, 1988, he ordered the Aguacate massacre in the department of Chimaltenango in the municipality of San Andrés Istapa, according to testimony from three former rebel commanders. 
Barrillas was taken into custody on May 2013 in the capital of Guatemala. 
During the civil war, at least 250,000 were killed, including hundreds of Guatemalans disappeared without a trace. The Guatemalan army was responsible for 93% of the murders and atrocities, but 3% of the killings was attributed to the rebel (guerrillas) organizations and 4% to other acts of murder by unknown groups, according to human rights organizations.

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