6,060 Year Sentence Handed Down in Guatemala

You’ve probably heard of violent or dangerous criminals given several consecutive life sentences for symbolic reasons, despite the fact no one can reasonably serve 23 sentences of life.

What about a 6,060 year sentence? Four Guatemalan soldiers were sentenced today to 6,060 years in jail for a horrific massacre in Dos Erres during Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war. Many men, women and children were violently murdered over three days of bloodshed- and nearly 30 years passed before the four were sentenced:

The sentences against Lt. Carlos Antonio Carias and special forces soldiers Manuel Pop Sun, Reyes Collin Gualip and Daniel Martinez include 30 years for each victim and another 30 years for crimes against humanity. The defendants say they are innocent.

For three days in 1982, about 20 members of a special military unit with the Guatemalan military tortured and killed men, women and children in Dos Erres. Some were beaten with sledgehammers.

Sebastian Elgueta, a researcher at Amnesty International in the region, commented on the sentence, calling the case a “landmark sentence” for human rights abuses.