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Human Rights Organizations Condemn Suspension of Guatemalan Judge Yassmín Barrios

LADB Article ID: 79318
Category/Department: Guatemala
Date: 2014-05-29
By: Louisa Reynolds

On April 4, the Tribunal de Honor of the Colegio de Abogados y Notarios de Guatemala (CANG) temporarily suspended Judge Yassmín Barrios from practicing law for one year and ordered her to pay a US$650 fine. Judge Barrios oversaw the trial of former dictator Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt (1982-1983), who faced charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Although Ríos Montt was found guilty, the Corte de Constitucionalidad (CC), under pressure from Guatemala’s conservative business establishment, controversially overturned the verdict. Local and international human rights organizations have strongly condemned this decision and have argued that it runs contrary to the principle of judicial independence.

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