The senior Guatemalan human rights prosecutor, Judge Jimmy Bremer, has indicted another senior military officer for genocide and crimes against humanity during the country’s civil war

Luis Enrique Mendoza Garcia, who was a senior operations officer under the former regime of General Efrain Rios Montt, will go on trial in March for his role in an operation in the early 1980s that killed at least 1,771 Maya Ixil indigenous people and displaced thousands more.

Many don’t know that Guatemala had a terrible and very bloody civil war that took place from 1960 until 1996, when the National Reconciliation Law was signed and forgave everything but the most serious of war crimes.

Only about 1,500 miles from the U.S. border one of the worst cases of genocide in the Western world took place during the bloodiest phases of the war in the 1980s. Over 200,000 Guatemalans, mostly Maya Indians, were killed, while 45,000 disappeared. Mendoza Garcia is the fourth officer charged in the past week. He’d been on the run since 2011, and was finally captured six months ago.

He joins Benedicto Lucas Garcia, Manuel Callejas, and Cesar Noguera, who were indicted in a separate case of genocide against the same indigenous group of people. These four were senior officers under Rios Montt during the bloodiest years of the war in 1982-83. 

Mendoza Garcia loudly protested his innocence via video conference stating that he had neither the means to plan or carry out an operation of this magnitude. “I was NOT the one who ruled,” he said. 

However, the government’s case states that they have several witnesses and victims that can testify against the accused. 

The former head of Guatemalan Intelligence, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez, was acquitted in 2018 of the same charges of genocide and crimes against humanity after the courts ruled that the prosecution had presented insufficient evidence.