Earlier today, Guatemala’s National Forensic Institute declared former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt senile, only two weeks before the scheduled date of his retrial for genocide and crimes against humanity.
Guatemala’s Constitutional Court annulled the former head of state’s conviction in 2013, only days after the verdict, requiring a retrial which has faced repeated obstacles. A retrial is now scheduled for July 23.
The National Forensic Institute reported today that Rios Montt’s mental health has degenerated to such a degree that he is unable to understand the charges to be presented against him and could not follow a trial or judicial proceedings. Further, the report asserts that due to his age, Rios Montt’s condition is unlikely to improve and further evaluation is thus unnecessary.
Rios Montt’s attorneys continue to argue that the case should be closed if Rios Montt is deemed unfit for trial.