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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 November, 2004, 01:41 GMT
US son-in-law for ex-coup leader
US Congressman Jerry Weller and the daughter of Guatemala's ex-military ruler Efrain Rios Montt,  Zury Rios Sosa, during their wedding
The wedding was guarded by a large security team
A US congressman has married the daughter of Guatemala's ex-military ruler Efrain Rios Montt in the colonial capital, Antigua, amid tight security.

Some 300 guests attended the wedding of Jerry Weller, the Republican from Illinois, and Zury Rios Sosa, a member of Guatemala's Senate.

General Rios Montt is accused of ruling over some of the worst atrocities during Guatemala's 1982-83 civil war.

He was given special dispensation from house arrest to attend the wedding.

Conflict of interests

The civil ceremony was held at a mansion belonging to the now Gen Rios Montt, who is now retired.

Guatemala's former military leader Efrain Rios Montt seen voting
Rios Montt has overshadowed Guatemalan politics for decades

His daughter wore a cream-coloured, strapless dress, while Mr Weller had a black suit.

Guatemalan politicians and military as well as the US ambassador to the Central American nation were among the guests at the closely-guarded wedding.

The high-walled compound was ringed with razor wire, while a large security team watched the mansion.

Mr Weller met his future wife during a visit to Central America.

His opponents in the US say he has a potential conflict of interests, as he serves on a Congressional sub-committee for Western Hemisphere Affairs that sometimes oversees legislation concerning Guatemala.

Election violence

Gen Rios Montt is accused of ruling over some of the worst atrocities during Guatemala's civil war over the 18 months he was in office.

He may face charges over the death of journalist Hector Ramirez, who died last July - apparently from a heart attack - while trying to escape a violent crowd of the general's supporters.

Gen Rios Montt came third in last year's presidential elections, despite a constitutional rule that no one who had overthrown a government could stand for the presidency.

The elections were marred by violence, with more than 22 people connected with political parties killed in the run-up to the polls.

There were also riots in Guatemala City last June in support of Gen Rios Montt, when it looked as if he would be barred from standing.

He was eventually permitted after a constitutional court overturned a supreme court ban on his candidacy.

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08 Jun 03 |  Americas

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