GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A judge on Thursday suspended the genocide trial of former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt, ordering the legal process to be set back to November 2011, before the retired general was charged with war crimes.

Judge Patricia Flores told the court where the 86-year-old has been on trial since March that she was following a directive from the nation's top justices.

Rios Montt, who ruled between 1982-83, was ordered to trial for genocide and crimes against humanity in January to answer for a counterinsurgency plan that killed more than 1,700 members of the Ixil indigenous group during Guatemala's long civil war.

(Reporting by Mike McDonald; editing by Xavier Briand)