Today, in High Risk Court “C” in Guatemala City, the trial of five retired senior military officers has begun. All five are facing charges of crimes against humanity for the 1981 illegal detention, torture, and rape of Emma Guadalupe Molina Theissen, and the enforced disappearance of her 14-year old brother, Marco Antonio Molina Theissen.
This trial is significant because it involves the prosecution former leaders in the military that were once considered untouchable. It is also an opportunity to learn more about how the military used sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon during the civil conflict in Guatemala.
International Justice Monitor’s long time trial monitor Jo-Marie Burt is on the ground in Guatemala City following the hearings, and we will be publishing regular reports on developments, including the anticipated testimony of the mother of Marco Antonio and Emma Molina Theissen.