Guatemala rebel convicted for killings during civil war

Fermin Felipe Solano waits for the sentence at the court. 04/07/2014 Human rights groups say 3% of killings during the civil war were attributable to left-wing rebels

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A court in Guatemala has convicted a former left-wing rebel leader for his role in killings in 1988.

The court sentenced Fermin Felipe Solano to 90 years in prison for the murder of 22 pro-government farmers near Guatemala City.

It is the first time a rebel leader has been convicted of crimes committed during the country's civil war.

Guatemalan courts have previously convicted some army officers and soldiers for human rights abuses.

More than 200,000 people were killed during the war from 1960 to 1996.

The court ruled that Mr Solano had ordered the killings when he led a rebel group belonging to the now extinct Revolutionary Organisation of the People in Arms (ORPA).

The killings happened in the village of El Aguacate, about 60 km (40 miles) from Guatemala City, after the indigenous farmers allegedly found a cache of hidden weapons.

Human rights groups say about 93% of the killings in the war were committed by the army.

But about 3% were attributable to the left-wing rebels. Responsibility for the other 4% remains unclear.

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