Guatemalan authorities have arrested the former chief of armed forces, Hector Mario Lopez-Fuentes, on charges of genocide committed during the country’s civil war that raged for more than three decades from 1960 to 1996.
Now a retired general, Lopez Fuentes, 81, is accused of participating in massacres and crimes against humanity during the military regime of Efrain Rios Montt, including the mass murder of more than 300 Mayan Indian civilians from the Ixil region in 1982 and 1983.
Lopex-Fuentes was detained in Guatemala City, the capital, on Friday.
He is the highest-ranking former government official to be charged with such crimes related to the civil war.
During the country’s conflict, more than 200,000 people died or disappeared, mostly due to the state security forces. The state targeted left-wing guerrillas during counter-insurgency operations.
However, many innocent civilians were also murdered.