Pedro Pimentel Rios was born in 1958 in Guatemala. In 1982, he served as subinstructor at a Guatemalan training school for an elite military force known as the “kaibiles” in Poptun, Petén. In 1990, Pimentel Rios entered the United States illegally; there he served as a maintenance worker in a sweater factory in Santa Ana, California, until May 2010 when he was detained by U.S. immigration authorities.
Between 1962 and 1996 Guatemala experienced internal armed conflict causing 250’000 victims (deaths and disappearances), which came to an end with the signing of a peace agreement on 29 December 1996.
In March 1982 José Efraín Ríos Montt rose to power following a coup. His policy of burning land led to intense repression, characterized by the massacre of the indigenous population, and the destruction of 440 indigenous communities and villages. Hundreds of thousands of victims were buried in mass graves.
Between the 6 and 8 December 1982, a military operation was launched against civilians from “Las Dos Erres” subdivision in Petén, which had been marked out as a ‘red zone’ (supporters of the guerrilla movement).
Pimentel Ríos participated in the patrol’s assault group in the massacre of Dos Erres. Members of the patrol ousted inhabitants of Dos Erres using violence and mistreatment. The soldiers raided the village on the pretext of seeking 21 rifles that the guerrillas had stolen from the army. They herded men and pensioners into the school, and gathered the women and young children there as well. They raped the women, including young girls, and pregnant and old women. Later, they interrogated and tortured the men. At approximately 1pm on 7 December 1982, members of the patrol began to kill the Dos Erres civilians, and then placed their bodies in a well. According to the testimony of two former kaibiles, before carrying out the massacre, Pedro Pimentel Rios gave them a demonstration of how to kill someone, killing a woman from the community.
It is estimated that around 200 people died during this massacre. The slaughter is considered to be one of the most brutal examples of its kind in Guatemala during this decade.
The Guatemalan commission of historical clarification was created in 1994 to investigate into the violations of human rights, and the violent acts linked to the armed conflict.
The acts were denounced before the Petén courts on June 14 1994, by the Guatemala Association of Families of Detainees and Missing Persons (FAMDEGUA).