Guatemalan ex-guerrilla becomes first rebel leader convicted for massacre

A Guatemalan court has issued the first conviction of a leftist guerrilla commander for killings committed during the country's 1960-1996 civil war.

The court has sentenced Fermin Felipe Solano Barrillas to 90 years in prison for his role in the 1988 massacre of 22 pro-government farmers in the town of El Aguacate.

Human rights reports coincide that the army committed about 93 percent of the killings in a war in which over 200,000 people died. But about three percent were attributable to the guerrillas. Responsibility for the other four percent remains unclear.

The court ruled Friday that Solano Barrillas ordered the killings.

Some Guatemalan army officers and soldiers have been convicted for their role in massacres, but Solano Barillas is the first rebel commander to be convicted for such crimes.