Guatemala proposal for aged inmates draws anger

AP News
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Posted: Nov 23, 2011 9:59 PM
Guatemala proposal for aged inmates draws anger

A proposal in Guatemala to allow convicts over 80 to serve their sentences under house arrest is drawing fire from human rights groups who say it would be used to benefit suspects accused of massacres during the 1960-1996 civil war.

The law has passed two of the three votes needed to win approval in congress.

Rights activist Iduvina Hernandez said Wednesday the proposal came just as several former military officials await trial on genocide and other charges.

The bill originally contained a clause excluding those convicted of rights abuses, but it was deleted from the bill submitted to Congress.

About 200,000 people were killed in Guatemala's 36-year civil war, 93 percent of them by state forces and paramilitary groups.