Police Chief Pedro Garcia Arrendondo has been found guilty of ordering an attack on the Spanish Embassy in Guatemala City in 1980. Arrendondo orchestrated a fire in the city’s Spanish embassy that resulted in the death of thirty-seven activists and student organizers. The father of the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, was one of the activists killed in the massacre.
“Families of the victims have waited 36 years for justice and this historic verdict is a special moment in Guatemalan history,” said Rigoberta.
The activists and students organized under the Committee for Peasant Union and travelled to Guatemala City to denounce the human rights atrocities which were taking place in their communities. Since the attack, there have been many events carried out to commemorate those massacred: a demonstration in front of the Constitutionality Court (CC), a forum focusing on the topic of Impunity, as well as a vigil in front of the current Spanish Embassy. Arredondo will be sentenced to a total of 90 years in prison for murder and crimes against humanity.
A Massacre in Guatemala: Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú on 1980 Fire That Killed Her Father, Democracy Now, 20 January, 2015.