13 Mar 2012

6000-year jail sentence for Guatemalan ex-soldier

10:13 pm on 13 March 2012

A court in Guatemala has sentenced a former soldier to 6060 years in prison for his role in the massacre of 201 people during the civil war.

Pedro Pimentel Rios, 55, was extradited from the US last year.

He is the fifth former soldier to be convicted for the killings in the village of Dos Erres in 1982, the BBC reports.

The sentence is largely symbolic as the maximum actual term is 50 years but it comes amid renewed moves to try those implicated in civil war atrocities.

The BBC says the massacre at Dos Erres was one of the most violent episodes in Guatemala's brutal 36-year civil conflict.

A special unit of the Guatemalan army known as the Kaibiles stormed the village where they suspected residents were supporting or sheltering left-wing guerrillas.