PBI-Guatemala accompanies human rights law firm at #CasoDiairioMilitar hearing for former head of Police Special Operations Brigade

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Photo by FAMDEGUA.

On July 5, FAMDEGUA tweeted: “The continuation of the hearing of the first statement of Juan Francisco Cifuentes Cano and Eliseo Barrios Soto begins.”

Prensa Comunitaria reports Cifuentes Cano was first chief of the Police Special Operations Brigade (BROE) and deputy director general of the National Police (PN), while Barrios Soto was a specialist in the Presidential General Staff.

They are two of the twelve arrested in the military journal case involving the kidnapping, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial execution and other crimes committed against at least 183 people seen as enemies of the state between 1983 to 1985.

The hearing took place on level 14 of the Tower of Courts in Guatemala City in the Court of Greater Risk “B” presided over by Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez.

Alejandra Cabrera, the daughter of detainees disappeared during the war, spoke about her family’s experience. She stated:

Mr. Judge I am a daughter looking for her father Leopoldo Cabrera García, finance secretary of the Guatemalan Labor Party PGT.

For 37 years I have wondered what happened to him, where he is.

I am a daughter who seeks justice for the disappearance of my father and for the illegal capture of my mother Clara Luz Tenas Chavarría, also a member of the PGT. She survived 4 days in a clandestine torture site.

The acts carried out by this system that acted with human and financial resources of the State, gave functionality to the policies of State terrorism that directly impacted on my life, together with my family.

We are not here for revenge, revenge is contrary to love.

[We hope that] this process will contribute to the guarantees of non-repetition so that no person lives the terror, never again.

Her testimony can be read in full here.

PBI-Guatemala accompanied the seven days of hearings for the first six defendants in this case. On June 9, 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.

PBI-Guatemala also accompanied the four days of hearings that resulted in the indictment of former Defense Minister Marco Antonio González Taracena on June 25.

On July 5, FAMDEGUA tweeted: “The lawyer Edgar Pérez requests that it be considered to continue with these hearings in a virtual way, due to the Covid crisis. Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez explains that it will end tomorrow and adjourns the hearing for Tuesday, July 6 at 9:00 AM.”

PBI-Guatemala began to accompany BDH lawyer Édgar Pérez Archila in August 2010 due to several security incidents. Perez has been acting as the representative of the Association of Detained and Disappeared Relatives (FAMDEGUA) in these hearings.


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