Sentence of Guatemalan bishop’s killers ratified

.- Guatemala’s Constitutional Court has ratified the 20 year prison sentence handed down against those responsible for the death of Auxiliary Bishop Juan Gerardi of Guatemala City, who was killed on April 26, 1998.

The court denied an appeal of the sentence by lawyers of the men convicted for the crime, including Catholic priest Mario Orantes.

Judge Gladys Chacon told reporters the ruling was unanimous.

Bishop Gerardi was killed at his home in Guatemala City.  Police arrested Byron Lima Oliva and Byron Disrael Lima Estrada, (father and son) and Jose Obdulio Villanueva, who died on February 11, 2003 during a riot.

Bishop Gerardi’s maid, Margarita Lopez, and Father Mario Orantes were also arrested.

On June 8, 2001, a court condemned the Limas and Villanueva.  Father Orantes was sentenced to 20 years and Lopez was acquitted.  Four years later, the court reduced the Limas’ sentence to 10 years.

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