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Thursday, 26 October 2006 - Strasbourg
Case against Ríos Montt

European Parliament resolution on the proceedings against Ríos Montt

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 18 May 2000(1), 14 June 2001(2), 11 April 2002(3), 10 April 2003(4) and 7 July 2005(5) on Guatemala,

–   having regard to the International Criminal Court Statute, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–   having regard to its firm and permanent commitment to ensure compliance with the peace agreements and with human rights in Guatemala,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   having regard to the allegations of crimes against humanity and genocide during the armed conflict in Guatemala, according to which 83% of the victims of the conflict were of Mayan ethnic origin, 200 000 people were murdered and 45 000 suffered enforced disappearances, 10% of the population was displaced and entire indigenous communities were eradicated; whereas, as the Parliament has gradually come to acknowledge, these crimes cannot go unpunished,

B.   whereas those accused of planning and committing the above-mentioned crimes have never been brought before a court and some of them continue to hold high political office,

C.   whereas in December 2006 the 10th anniversary of the peace accords will be commemorated and the Global Agreement on Human Rights has still not been implemented: the victims have not obtained adequate compensation, whether material or symbolic; the perpetrators of the crimes have never publicly apologised; and the whereabouts of most of the disappeared people remains unknown,

D.   whereas on 7 July 2006, a judge at the Spanish Audiencia Nacional issued an international warrant for the arrest of seven former Guatemalan dictators and military officers accused of genocide, torture and illegal detention,

E.   whereas before issuing the warrant, the judge travelled to Guatemala to carry out investigations which he was unable to conduct following appeals to the Guatemalan constitutional court and court for resolving conflicts of jurisdiction by the defendants' lawyers,

1.  Urges the Guatemalan institutions to cooperate fully and do everything in their power to shed light on human rights violations and to ensure that those responsible are brought to justice and that the findings of investigations are made public, as called for in the international arrest warrant issued on 7 July 2006 by the Spanish Audiencia Nacional against José Efraín Ríos Montt, Oscar Humberto Mejía Víctores, Ángel Aníbal Guevara Rodríguez, Germán Chupina Barahona, Pedro García Arredondo, Benedicto Lucas García and Donaldo Álvarez Ruiz, all of whom are accused of crimes of genocide, torture, terrorism and illegal detention;

2.  Asks the governments and the management of the relevant banking entities concerned to cooperate in sequestrating the goods and property of the defendants, in order to ensure that they discharge their financial and civil responsibilities;

3.  Urges Interpol and Europol, in the event of a request being made by the appropriate authorities, to provide the necessary means to ensure extradition;

4.  Reaffirms its commitment to ensuring that those accused do not go unpunished;

5.  Welcomes the progress made in the application of the principle of universal jurisdiction in respect of crimes against humanity, genocide and torture;

6.  Considers that, should these proceedings be brought to a successful conclusion, the same procedure should be followed under similar circumstances in taking action against dictators and persons responsible for mass human rights violations;

7.  Expresses its support for the Guatemalan people and authorities, with a view to their continuing to uphold the rule of law and fostering economic, social and political development, which will contribute to peace and national reconciliation;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government of Guatemala, the governments of Central American countries, the Government of the United States of America, and the Central American Parliament.

(1) OJ C 59, 23.2.2001, p. 286.
(2) OJ C 53 E, 28.2.2002, p. 403.
(3) OJ C 127 E, 29.5.2003, p. 688.
(4) OJ C 64 E, 12.3.2004, p. 609.
(5) OJ C 157 E, 6.7.2006, p. 494.

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