PBI-Guatemala accompanies hearing of former Minister of National Defense accused of murder in the #CasoDiarioMilitar

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On June 23, PBI-Guatemala posted: “PBI accompanied in the second session of the First Statement of the former General Marco Antonio González Taracena syndicated in the #CasoDiarioMilitar [Military Journal Case].”

González Taracena would also become the Minister of National Defense.

Yesterday, Prensa Libre reported: “The Office of the Public Prosecutor for Human Rights (MP) pointed out González Taracena from 1983 to 1985 led an operative group of the Presidential General Staff that controlled and disappeared people considered ‘internal enemies’. According to the Prosecutor’s Office, the retired soldier was head of the General Archive and belonged to the Presidential General Staff when 126 people were forcibly disappeared.”

That article adds: “González Taracena was accused of forced disappearance, crimes against the duties of humanity, murder and attempted murder.”

Guatevision also notes: “[On June 22] the retired military officer appeared … at the Military Medical Center where he has been under medical care since May 28 when he was informed of an arrest warrant for the Military Journal Case.”

First six defendants

On June 9, seven days of hearings focused on the first six defendants concluded with their indictment to stand trial.

Sandra Cuffe reports: “All six defendants were indicted for crimes against humanity, and five of them were indicted for forced disappearance. They all also stand accused of murder, attempted murder or both, for the killings. The charges relate to 20 individual victims, based on witness testimonies and documentation gathered over the span of more than two decades.”

Earlier this month, Cuffe also noted: “Some of the remaining six are in custody in medical facilities while others were arrested in other parts of the country and were not transferred to the capital in time for the initial hearing.”

Caso Diario Militar

Prensa Libre has explained: “These are former military personnel accused of having participated in the disappearance, torture and death of at least 183 people during the years 1983 to 1985, including trade union and student leaders.”

Ruda further notes that the Military Journal itself 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.”

Human Rights Law Firm

PBI-Guatemala began to accompany BDH lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila in August 2010 due to several security incidents he had faced in relation to the high-profile judicial processes he was working on. At the end of 2013, PBI-Guatemala extended the accompaniment to the other lawyers of the BDH who work in high-profile trials to fight against impunity and in defending criminalized human rights defenders.

Guatevision coverage.

Some of the victims from the Diario Militar.

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