clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


A Guatemalan general has been ordered to pay $47.5 million for devising "an indiscriminate campaign of terror" against thousands of civilians, including an American nun who was raped by some of his soldiers.

A judge ruled Wednesday that Gen. Hector Alejandro Gramajo, who is running for president of the Central American country, must pay the money to the nun and eight Guatemalans.U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock said Gramajo was responsible for the torture and murder of thousands of people while he was vice chief of staff and director of the army general staff in the early 1980s and defense minister from 1987 to 1990.

"Gramajo refused to act to prevent such atrocities," Woodlock said in his ruling. "Indeed, the evidence suggests that Gramajo devised and directed the im-ple-men-tation of an indiscriminate cam-paign of terror against civilians such as plaintiffs and their relatives."

Gramajo was found liable by default because he did not contest the lawsuit.

Human-rights lawyers acknowledged it will be extremely difficult for the victims to collect from the general.

Gramajo insisted he is not guilty and said he does not have the money to pay the damages.