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Guatemala Court Halts Massacre Prosecution


A high court in Guatemala City has ruled it cannot try 16 soldiers accused of massacring hundreds of civilians during the Central American country's civil war, because a national reconciliation Law precludes such prosecution.

The Constitutional Court said Friday that the massacre case cannot go forward until a separate court rules on an appeal by the soldiers, who contend their actions were covered by a limited war-crimes amnesty. The law was enacted in 1996, the year that a peace accord ended decades of civil war in Guatemala.

The case involves a commando squad that killed more than 300 civilians in 1982, near the village of Dos Erres, 450 kilometers north of the Guatemalan capital.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.

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