The week at a glance...Americas
Malcolm X’s grandson killed: Mexican police have accused two waiters of beating to death a grandson of Malcolm X in a dispute over a bar tab. Malcolm Shabazz, 28, and a Mexican labor activist were drinking at the Palace Club in Mexico City until 3 a.m., when they questioned the $1,200 bill. Shabazz, the son of Malcolm X’s second daughter, Qubilah, had a troubled past. After Qubilah was arrested for allegedly conspiring to kill Louis Farrakhan, Shabazz went to live with his grandmother Betty Shabazz. At age 12, he was sent to juvenile detention for starting a house fire that killed her.
Pile of dirt: A Belizean construction company has bulldozed one of the country’s largest ancient Mayan pyramids. The 2,300-year-old Nohmul mound was dug out and crushed into gravel for use in road building. “It’s like being punched in the stomach, it’s just so horrendous,” said Jaime Awe, the head of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology. “Why can’t these people just go and quarry somewhere that has no cultural significance? It’s mind-boggling.” Many lesser Mayan mounds have already been razed for road fill. Police are trying to determine what company was responsible; criminal charges could be filed.
Guilty: Despite threats to witnesses and opposition from the president, a Guatemalan court has found former dictator Efraín Ríos Montt guilty of ordering the 1982–83 killing of at least 1,771 members of the Mayan Ixil indigenous group and sentenced him to 80 years in prison. It’s the first time a former head of state has been found guilty of genocide by a court in his own country. Ríos Montt, 86, was charged last year, when he left Congress and lost his political immunity from prosecution. Human-rights groups have alleged that President Otto Pérez Molina, who was a major in the army at the time, may have been involved in the killings, but as president he has political immunity and can’t be charged.