Roberto Girón and Pedro Castillo

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Roberto Girón Mendoza and Pedro Castillo were two Guatemalan men convicted of murder and executed,[1] with their deaths by firing squad occurring on 13 September 1996. It was the first official firing squad execution in Guatemala since 1983.[2] It was also the first execution to occur in Latin America, with the exception of Guyana and the Caribbean, in a span of over ten years.[3]

The executions occurred outside of the Canada Penal Farm (Granja de Canadá),[1] in Escuintla, Guatemala.[4] The men had raped and murdered four-years-old Sonia Marisol Alvarez García on 19 April 1993.[5] This execution was broadcast on live television.[6]

The men survived the initial volleys of bullets, so after a doctor had confirmed they were alive a squad leader killed each man by firing a bullet into their heads. The resulting controversy caused the Guatemalan legislature to change the method of execution to lethal injection.[2]

Their executions were filmed by the press. The executions were featured in the 1998 shockumentary film, Banned from Television.

See also[edit]

Other executions:


  1. ^ a b "[1]." Orlando Sentinel. September 14, 1996. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Harrell, William Clark. "The Death Penalty and Due Process in Guatemala." Human Rights Brief, The Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Washington College of Law, American University. Volume 4, Number 2 ~ Winter 1997. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.
  3. ^ "Guatemala carries out first execution by lethal injection." Hurriyet Daily News. February 12, 1998. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.
  4. ^ "Ejecutan a asesinos de industrial en Guatemala." La Prensa (Nicaragua). June 30, 2000. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.
  5. ^ "Fusilamiento terminó el "viacrucis" de los enjuiciados." La Nación (Costa Rica). Saturday September 14, 1996. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Weissert, Will. "Guatemala executes kidnappers on breakfast TV ." The Guardian. Friday June 30, 2000. Retrieved on March 3, 2016.

External links[edit]