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Guatemala arrests two men over 1982 massacre

Two men suspected of being involved in a 1982 massacre of 268 people in Guatemala have been detained.

Families of the victims of the Civil War continue to campaign for justice. The red rose is their symbol.
Families of the victims of the Civil War continue to campaign for justice. The red rose is their symbol.

POLICE IN GUATEMALA have arrested two men suspected of taking part in a massacre of 268 people during the civil war, the BBC reports.

Mario Acoj, a patrolman in the civil defence force, and Lucas Tecu, a military commissioner, are accused of being involved in horrendous crimes in the village of Plan de Sanchez in 1982.

The July 18 massacre was carried out by the army and members of a civil defence force who suspected the residents – mainly of the Achi indigenous group – of supporting a rebel group.

The two men arrested today are the first suspects to be detained in relation to the murders. Many of those killed during the attack on the village were women and children.

Following the massacre, the village was practically deserted as survivors were told to bury the dead and not speak about the incident.

Prosecutors in Guatemala believe Tecu planned, as well as executed, the killings, said the BBC.

The arrests come just days after Guatemalan courts sentenced four former soldiers for the murder of 201 people in Dos Erres.

Each of the men were handed down 6,060-year prison sentences.

The military operation against civilians in the vilage lasted for seven days. The bodies of victims were not exhumed until 1994 and 1995.

Guatemala’s bloody 36-year war only ended in 1996 after claiming more than 200,000 lives.

Read: Guatemala arrests civil conflict massacre suspects >

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