Assassination of Monsignor Juan José Gerardi Conedera

On April 26, 1998, Monsignor Juan José Gerardi Conedera was beaten to death, two days after releasing a four-volume report on atrocities by the Guatemalan military during the decades of the Guatemalan Civil War (1960 to 1996).  Conedera was a Guatemalan Roman Catholic bishop and human rights defender, who was viewed as a moderate reformer.  A United Nations-backed peace accord formally ended the 30-year conflict in 1996.  Over 200,000 civilians had died, more than 90% of them killed and often tortured by the army.  Retired Guatemala Colonel Byron Disrael Lima Estrada, who attended the US School of the Americas in the 1960s, was arrested for involvement in the crime.

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