A coup too far for Guatemala's former leader

PEOPLE

Unless he stages another coup, Efrain Rios Montt won't be ruling Guatemala again, even indirectly. Election officials have rejected the presidential candidacy of his wife, Maria Teresa Sosa de Rios, who was proposed by the Guatemalan Republican Front after Mr Rios Montt was again refused the opportunity to run for president. He took power in a 1982 coup and ruled during one of the bloodiest years in Guatemala's history. Mr Rios Montt wants to lead the country again, but has been thwarted by the constitution: it prohibits people who have participated in coups from holding the office. Ms Sosa de Rios was barred because relatives of former presidents are not allowed to run for the top job, and because she was not elected by the party's general assembly. On Monday the Supreme Court stripped Mr Rios Montt of his congressional immunity and suspended him for voting to replace the officials who invalidated his candidacy.

Carlos the Jackal has been in jail in France for a year now, awaiting trial on terrorism charges. He reportedly spends his days reading, writing, lifting weights and exasperating his guards. Now he has to concentrate on finding a new lawyer, after sacking the flamboyant Jacques Verges. Mr Verges told Reuters he had not seen his client, Illich Ramirez Sanchez, for six months. "I made the decision not to go there any longer. We do not share views on defence strategy and the counsel's role," he said. Carlos is not expected to face trial for months, and is now in solitary confinement in the Fresnes prison outside Paris. The prison warders say keeping him under close surveillance is a heavy burden at the overcrowded jail, and complain that he gets special privileges, such as extra showers. One of his female lawyers was once accused of sitting on his lap in jail, and a guard said he was once given a beer. Still, it's a far cry from the days of whisky and women he enjoyed before his capture in Sudan last August.

Lawyers for Nelson Mandela and his estranged wife, Winnie, have begun to discuss divorce. Ismail Ayob, the South African President's lawyer, told Reuters that the talks were under way, but that legal steps were not likely to be taken soon. "The matter is being dealt with sensitively and is being discussed between lawyers,'' Mr Ayob said. Legal sources said an amicable divorce would be straightforward where there was no prospect of reconciliation. Mr Mandela, 77, and Winnie, 60, were married in 1958. They separated formally in April 1992, two years after he was released after 27 years in prison for opposing white rule. She was sacked from his cabinet in April.

Rocky or Rambo in banker's pinstripes may be a difficult sight to conjure up. Sylvester Stallone, the Hollywood heavyweight, has bought a 7.1 per cent stake in Yardville National Bancorp, a New Jersey holding company. The announcement came as Stallone signed a reported $60m (pounds 37.5m) three- film deal with Universal Pictures, the largest ever between an actor and studio. Stallone, however, isn't the first member of his family to make money in Trenton, New Jersey. His handsome younger brother Frank, who played a street singer in Rambo, used to perform with a rock group called Valentine -- and sell kisses for $1 for charity.

MARYANN BIRD

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: KS2 Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee