GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A former army captain convicted of murdering a Guatemalan bishop was killed on Monday in a prison riot in which 13 people died, the National Institute of Forensic Sciences said.

A spokesman for the institute said the death of Byron Lima Oliva, who was serving 20 years for the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi in 1998, took place in Pavoncito, a prison 18 miles (30 km) from the capital, Guatemala City.

Twelve other inmates were killed in the riot, said spokesman Roberto Garza. A defense attorney for Lima, Moises Galindo, said he did not know the motive for the attack.

The killing of the bishop was one of the most notorious crimes in recent Guatemalan history.


Gerardi was killed on April 26, 1998, two days after presenting testimony about atrocities committed by the military in Guatemala's civil war, mainly against indigenous populations.

About 250,000 people were killed in the civil war, which ran from 1960 to 1996.

In recent years, Lima became infamous for heading a criminal network inside and outside the prison system, running illicit businesses including food stalls and a transportation enterprise for relatives of inmates from his prison cell.

(Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Writing by Natalie Schachar; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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