Lawyer who defended Rios Montt shot dead

Francisco Palomo Tejada, who defended former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt against charges of genocide and crimes against humanity, was shot at least 12 times while driving in Guatemala City.

Guatemala City: Lawyer Palomo Tejada was shot Guayo Fuentes

In 2013, Mr Rios Montt, now 88, was sentenced to 80 years in jail for genocide and war crimes relating to massacres of indigenous peoples in the 1980’s. But that decision was overturned by the Constitutional Court and a retrial scheduled for January has been postponed indefinitely because of a legal dispute. In December, Mr Palomo Tejada had argued that a repealed amnesty law should apply to his client, as it had been in force at the time of the massacres.

A ‘direct attack’

Mr Palomo Tejada had been driving towards his home in an exclusive area in the south of Guatemala City when two men on a motorcycle pulled alongside his car and opened fire. Witnesses told local radio stations that the gunmen shot into the car for the length of a block before speeding away. Interior Minister Eunice del Milagro Mendizábal ruled out the possibility of the murder being the result of common crime, describing it as a ‘direct attack’. Sources: BBC News; The Telegraph; The Guardian

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]