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Friday, October 04, 2013

Judging Genocide: Rios Montt Trial Judges at UC Hastings Oct. 9

Three judges who presided over the former dictator’s trial for genocide will discuss international human rights law.
Patricia Bustamante, Yassmin Barrios and Pablo Xitumul (pictured left to right)

UC Hastings Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza will moderate this event, which is free and open to the public.

In May 2013, former Guatemalan dictator Efraín Ríos Montt was convicted of genocide and war crimes. The trial represented the first time anywhere in the world that a former head of state has been tried in a national court for genocide. The three judges who delivered the globally significant verdict will discuss the Guatemalan justice system, the structure of the courts, and their involvement in judging crimes against humanity.

Yassmin Barrios, Patricia Bustamante, and Pablo Xitumul are the Guatemalan judges who presided during the Ríos Montt trial. Together they compose the Trial Court ‘A’ of the Guatemalan High Impact courts, an innovation intended to provide extra resources and security to those involved in high-profile or dangerous cases involving the military, drug traffickers, corrupt officials, or other powerful actors. They have been threatened and harassed for their work, but have continued to preside over human-rights related cases.

The judges will speak at UC Hastings on October 9 from 3:30-4:30pm in the Alumni Reception Center at Mary Kay Kane Hall, 200 McAllister Street. All are welcome.

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