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Guatemala arrests ex-fugitive military commander, Mendoza, over 1982 massacre

Guatemala arrests ex-fugitive military commander, Mendoza, over 1982 massacre

Former military commander, Luis Enrique Mendoza, has been arrested by Guatemalan police after being accused of genocide and crimes against humanity.

He currently faces charges for his alleged role in the mass killing of 1,771 Maya Ixil villagers in 1982.

He was arrested outside an elementary school serving as a polling station in his hometown in the department of Baja Verapaz, 115km north of Guatemala City.

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Mendoza, who served under former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, from March 1982 to July 1983, has been in hiding since an arrest warrant was issued in 2011.

After his arrest, Mendoza was taken to appear before a presiding judge. Due to the severity of the charges and the potential flight risk, he will likely be remanded in custody pending an initial hearing.

“We hope the judges carry out their work and that the victims get justice,” a traditional Maya Ixil authority, de Leon told Al Jazeera.

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