The May 10 conviction of General Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala for crimes against humanity and genocide is a historic and symbolic step towards addressing crimes of the past. Freedom House applauds the conviction, which is the first ruling of its kind against a former head of state by a national court, and hopes that it will help to bring closure for the families of those victimized by his brutal regime.
Freedom House is concerned by Guatemalan security forces’ excessive use of force to repress a social protest in Totonicapán, Guatemala last week and calls for a thorough investigation into the incident. Freedom House urges the Guatemalan government to use peaceful means to maintain order during protests, and to promote dialogue with indigenous communities.
Nearly two years after a wave of popular uprisings began in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a lack of substantive institutional reform has left states struggling to maintain democratic achievements, according to a new Freedom House report. The findings illuminate reform failures that have contributed to recent violence across the MENA region.