Daughter of ex-Guatemala dictator barred from election

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 16 2019 01:00 AM

GUATEMALA CITY - Guatemala's constitutional court has ruled the daughter of late dictator Efrain Rios Montt cannot run for president in next month's elections.

Judges ruled by four to three Monday that Zury Rios could not participate in the June 16 vote, despite her currently being placed second in polls.

The court's ruling reversed a previous judgment by the Supreme Court, which it has precedence over in matters concerning the constitution. 

Rios said in an interview with CNN the decision was a "political" and not a legal ruling which violates her "human rights", noting she had been allowed to run in the 2015 presidential elections.

Guatemala's constitution bars those who have come to power in coups, as well as their relatives, from the presidency.

Her father, Efrain Rios Montt, took power in a bloodless coup in 1982 before ruling Guatemala with an iron fist.

He was accused of the genocide of an indigenous group at the peak of the country's 36-year long civil war.

He later launched three unsuccessful presidential bids, one of which provoked riots leading to the death of a journalist after he was barred from running by courts. 

He died last year at the age of 91.