Last week was a historic one in Guatemala. The courageous voices of witnesses from Chajul and other Ixil communities contributed to the conviction of former president Jose Efraín Ríos Montt for genocide committed in the Ixil region under his leadership in 1982-3. Internationally, this is the first-ever trial and conviction of a former head of state for genocide in his own country’s court system. Nationally, it is a blow against impunity and a step forward for justice in post-war Guatemala. Human rights groups and prosecutors are rejoicing in the capital–but what does this decision mean for Chajul?
This week, The Globalist published an op-ed by our own Laura Myers, an LHI board member who recently finished her term as International Coordinator on the ground in Chajul. In it, Laura shares her perspective on post-genocide life in Chajul, and what LHI is doing to help the community repair and rebuild.