Guatemala’s highest court ruled this week that former dictator Efrain Rios Montt could run for president in November, despite a ban on candidates who have taken power by force. The retired general led a coup in 1982, and cracked down on Guatemala’s leftist rebels. Activists accused his 18-month regime of the worst massacres in Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, which ended in 1996. Rios Montt, 77, said he should be allowed to run because the ban was adopted after he left power. “Only the Guatemalan people can choose their president,” an ally said. Rigoberta Menchu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, said the court was packed with the general’s cronies, so the ruling amounted to another “coup d’état.”
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