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Military Officers Jailed For R*pe in Guatemala

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A Guatemala court has sentenced two former members of the military to 360 years in jail for the murder, rape and sexual enslavement of indigenous women.

Francisco Reyes Giron and Heriberto Valdez Asij were found guilty of crimes against humanity, the BBC reports.

The historic ruling is the first successful prosecution for sexual violence committed during Guatemala’s military conflict in the 1980s.

There were jubilant scenes in court as the judge read out the sentence.

“This is historic, it is a great step for women and above all for the victims,” said Nobel Peace Prize winner, Rigoberta Menchu, who attended the hearing.

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Francisco Reyes Giron, who was the commander of the Sepur Zarco military base, was found guilty of holding 15 women in sexual and domestic slavery and for killing one woman and her two daughters.

Heriberto Valdez Asij, a paramilitary who carried out commissions for the army, was convicted for the same enslavement, as well as the forced disappearance of seven men.

The victims have been demanding accountability for the crimes at Sepur Zarco for decades.

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