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Ex-Guatemalan soldier deported, faces 1982 massacre charges

·1-min read

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The United States on Friday deported back to Guatemala a former soldier suspected of helping carry out a massacre during the Central American country's civil war.

José Mardoqueo Ortiz Morales is the fourth ex-Guatemalan soldier deported by U.S. authorities since 2010. Soldiers of a special army unit known as “kaibiles” are accused of participating in the killing of more than 200 people in the village of Las Dos Erres in 1982.

The slaughter went unpunished for years — even after Guatemalan authorities issued 17 arrest warrants. In 2009, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights demanded the country prosecute the perpetrators.

Four former soldiers were sentenced in 2011 to more than 6,000 years for the killings. A year later, another suspect deported by the U.S. was sentenced. Prison terms of more than 50 years are largely symbolic, since that is the maximum sentence allowed under Guatemalan law.

Guatemala's 1960-1996 civil war pitted the army and police against leftist rebels, and resulted in more than 200,000 deaths.

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