Inside the Historic Genocide Trial of a Guatemalan Dictator

The milestones achieved by the prosecution of Rios Montt significantly elevated Guatemala and its system of justice in the eyes of the international human rights community. This trial did not come easily to the Guatemalan courts, and did not proceed smoothly once it got there. Nevertheless, the successful prosecution was hailed by international observers and human rights groups as a major victory for justice–until the guilty verdict was overturned by the Constitutional Court in a 3-2 decision only 10 days after it was delivered.