Pedro Pimentel Rios, 55, was a former soldier part of a special unit of the Guatemalan army known as the Kaibiles. During Guatemala’s brutal 36-year civil conflict, the Kaibiles stormed Dos Erres, a village where they suspected residents were supporting or sheltering left-wing guerrillas. They systematically killed hundreds of men, women, and children by shooting or bludgeoning them to death and throwing their bodies down a well over a span of three days. Whole villages of indigenous Mayans were massacred in the government’s efforts to defeat left-wing rebels during the civil war.
Pimental had actually lived in California for many years before being arrested in 2010 and extradited to Guatemala in 2011. He has denied any involvement in the massacre, but is the fifth former soldier to be convicted for the killings in 1982. He was sentenced to 30 years for each of the 201 deaths in the massacre, and another 30 years for crimes against humanity — totaling 6,060 years in prison. The symbolic nature of the sentence reflects recent movements to try those implicated in civil war atrocities and ends the victims’ families long search for justice.
Do you agree with the sentence? Does such a sentence reflect the repugnance of the crime, and bring justice to victims? Or is a lifetime sentence sufficient?