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Guatemala ex-dictator to stand trial on genocide

GUATEMALA CITY — A former US-backed dictator who presided over one of the bloodiest periods of Guatemala’s civil war will stand trial on charges that he ordered the murder, torture, and displacement of thousands of Mayan Indians, a judge ruled Monday.

Human rights advocates have said that the prosecution of Jose Efrain Rios Montt would be an important symbolic victory for the victims of one of the most horrific of the conflicts that devastated Central America during the last decades of the Cold War.

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