Guatemala: 4 ex-officers convicted of 1981 rights abuses

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Four retired military officers in Guatemala have been convicted of crimes against humanity and other charges in the 1981 rape and torture of a young woman and the disappearance of her teenage brother.

It is the first court judgment over a forced disappearance of a child during Guatemala's civil war. The four defendants were sentenced Wednesday to terms of 33 and 58 years, and a fifth officer was absolved.

At trial they proclaimed their innocence and argued that any crimes committed came in the context of a nation at war.

Some 245,000 people were killed or disappeared during the 1960-1996 conflict, with most of those blamed on the army or paramilitary groups.