Genocide Trial Judge Stands Her Ground
In the shortest session since the trial against former head of state Gen. Efraín Ríos Montt began March 19, Judge Jazmín Barrios declared three times in twenty minutes, "The trial is not annulled."
Judge Barrios generally dresses in courtroom-appropriate muted colors. Today she marched in wearing a blazing red dress.
|Rios Montt waits for elevator.|
In the mid-1980s, when massacre survivors from Ixil country were either still wandering wildlands subsisting on grass and leaves, or undergoing re-education in model villages based on the U.S. Phoenix Program strategic hamlets system in Vietnam, a Guatemalan officer gave me his assessment of the origins of current local dress in the area of Nebaj, the area's largest town. Spanish conquerers perceived the particularly rebellious nature of Indians there, he said, and had ordered them to wear red.
|Observers were still arriving when the session ended, only 20 minutes after it had begun. Journalist Xeni Jardin tweeted from the courtroom, "...if you want to know what's going on with this trial don't ask a lawyer. Hire a psychic."|