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Guatemalan Court Convicts Ex-Rebel Commander for 1988 Massacre

Former leftist guerilla commander Solano Barillas is escorted to court for his sentence in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, July 4, 2014.

A Guatemalan court has sentenced a former leftist guerilla commander to 90 years in prison in connection with a massacre committed during the country's 36 year-long civil war.

Solano Barrillas is the first rebel commander to be convicted for the 1988 massacre of alleged army collaborators.

He had been charged with taking part in the killing of 21 people who were searching for a missing Guatemalan military liaison in the town of El Aguacate.

The rebels believed all 21 were collaborating with the army.

Barrillas had pleaded innocent.

Several high-ranking Guatemalan military officials have already been convicted of civilian massacres. They include former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, who will be re-tried after the constitutional court last year threw out his earlier conviction.