PBI-Guatemala accompanies lawyers at trial of ex-officers on trial for the disappearance of union leaders, students and others

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 8, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted: “PBI accompanied the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) on the sixth day of first-statement hearing in the #CasoDiarioMilitar [Military Journal Case].”

Ruda explains: “The Military Journal is a record of the names, photographs, and addresses of men and women who were arrested, detained, disappeared and murdered. The list includes students, university professors, trade unionists, and members of social organizations that the Army identified as allies of the guerrillas.”

Eleven retired soldiers and police officers are on trial for their alleged participation in the kidnapping, forced disappearance and extrajudicial executions of at least 183 people between 1983 and 1985.

PBI-Guatemala adds: “Today, the defense attorneys of six accused persons present their arguments before Judge Miguel Angel Gálvez.”

Prensa Libre had reported: “This Tuesday, June 8, the hearing of the first statement of the accused by the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the Military Journal case continues.”

That article adds: “One of the accused in the case is Jacobo Salán Sánchez, whose lawyer pointed out that the accusation of the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office is based on analysis by ‘dubious experts’ and of ‘Marxist’ ideology and that it is ‘impossible’ for victims of the events to remember what happened because it was 37 years ago.”

Prensa Comunitaria adds: “According to information from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), [Colonel Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez] worked in the Army Intelligence Directorate (D-2) in the late eighties and nineties.”

Prensa Libre has also reported that the indictment against Salán links him to the forced disappearance of 12-year-old Juan Pablo Armira López who Salán and the military Intelligence group believed was connected to the Rebel Armed Forces.

Guate Vision adds that Salán is linked to the disappearance of Silvio Matricardi Salán in March 1984, as well as the detention and torture of Álvaro René Sosa Ramos.

PBI-Guatemala has accompanied the Human Rights Law Firm on all six days of the trial (that took place on June 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 and 8).

PBI-Guatemala began to accompany BDH lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila in August 2010 due to several security incidents. In 2013, PBI-Guatemala extended the accompaniment to the other lawyers of the BDH who work on high-profile trials.

Photo: Jacobo Salán Sánchez (second from the left) in the court room.

Photo from Military Journal.

Photo by Regina Pérez.

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