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Guatemala to Try Ex-Dictator for Genocide

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt speaks with the media after a judge placed him under house arrest, at the Supreme Court of Justice in Guatemala City January 26, 2012.

A judge in Guatemala has ruled that there is sufficient evidence to try former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide during his time in power from 1982 to 1983.

The judge ruled Thursday in Guatemala City that Montt should answer to charges of responsibility for mass killings of thousands of indigenous people in their villages. The killings were part of a counterinsurgency effort aimed at leftist rebels in Guatemala's 36-year civil war that ended in 1996.

Montt has been placed under house arrest until further proceedings.

Montt lost his seat in Congress last year, and with it, the immunity from prosecution granted public officials.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.