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Wednesday, 12 December, 2001, 16:05 GMT
Guatemala massacre compensation

The president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo, has paid compensation for the first time to relatives of more than 200 Guatemalans killed in a massacre committed by security forces 19 years ago.

In a special ceremony, Mr Portillo publicly apologised for the atrocity and awarded the families $1.8million in compensation.

The massacre - in which 226 men, women and children were killed by soldiers and paramilitaries in the village of Las Dos Erres in the north of Guatemala in 1982 - was one of hundreds committed during the 36-year civil war between leftist guerrillas and right-wing governments in Guatemala.

The conflict ended with peace talks in 1996.

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