A group of nine soldiers entered the northeastern village of Semuy II on Sept. 3, 2019, in a search for a small plane and clandestine airstrips suspected to be used for transporting drugs.
Residents who witnessed the event accused the soldiers of entering the remote village, in the middle of a sprawling African palm plantation, and opening fire without warning.
Authorities accused Cesar Montes, an ex-guerrilla, of giving the order to open fire on the soldiers.
Judge Juan Jose Jimenez sentenced Montes to a total of 175 years in prison for murder and attempted murder.
Montes has repeatedly said he is innocent.
Seven other villagers, including three women, were jailed for between 16 and 143 years.
“I celebrate that César Montes has been sentenced to 175 years in prison after being defeated in court for the murder of three soldiers,” the president said in a statement
Guatemalan court jails eight for murder of soldiers