Photo: Irmalicia Velasquez Nimatuj
Five retired senior Guatemalan military officers were convicted for crimes against humanity for the illegal detention, torture, and rape of Emma Molina Theissen, and the enforced disappearance of her 14-year old brother, Marco Antonio Molina Theissen, in 1981. The case is highly significant because those charged include former generals previously believed to be ‘untouchable’. Most prominent are former army Chief of Staff Benedicto Lucas García and former head of military intelligence, Manuel Callejas y Callejas. The officers were sentenced to 33 to 58 years in prison for the forced disappearance of Marco Antonio Molina Theissen and the raping of his sister Emma Guadalupe.
The Molina Theissen case has become a landmark in the struggle against impunity in Guatemala and the sentence gives hope to thousands that are still in search for justice.
This is a historic day for Guatemala and an important step towards finding peace and justice, even after 37 years. Emma declared at the end of the trial: ¨He elegido vivir.¨ (I have chosen to live.)
Photo: Isabel Soto Mayedo
To get a better understanding of the case, watch this video (in Spanish) produced by Prensa Comunitaria.