PBI-Guatemala accompanies Human Rights Law Firm at hearing for former soldier and police officer accused in the #CasoDiarioMilitar

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On February 1, PBI-Guatemala posted:

“PBI accompanies the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) to the hearing of the review of coercive measures for Malfred Orlando Pérez Lorenzo and Jacobo Salán Sanchez. Following the plea of the defense of the accused for crimes of duty against humanity, enforced disappearance, murder, the judge granted substitute measures to the two, allowing them house arrest.”

Prensa Comunitaria further reports:

The decision of Judge Rudy Bautista that benefited retired Colonel Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez and former police officer Malfred Orlando Pérez Lorenzo with house arrest, generated indignation from relatives of the victims present at the hearing and caused bewilderment in the lawyers of the plaintiffs who consider the measures inopportune.

In a hearing to review measures, the substitute judge of the High Risk Court B, Rudy Bautista, benefited with alternative measures Salán Sánchez and Pérez Lorenzo, accused of crimes of forced disappearance, murder, attempted murder and duties against humanity, who will have to pay a bail of Q 6,000 and go every end of the month to the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office, to sign the measurement control book.

After the hearing, relatives of victims said: “there is no justice, Mr. Judge” and “the judge will be responsible if they do not return to Court.” A relative of a missing person went to Salán Sánchez and shouted: “39 years ago you were in my house putting a gun on me.”

Video: “39 years ago you were in my house pointing a gun at me!”

The events that are judged occurred between 1983 and 1985, when according to the investigation of the Public Ministry (MP) a clandestine structure of the State arrested and disappeared people who belonged to insurgency groups. The information of these victims was found in the intelligence document called Diario Militar, where some appear with annotations such as “Pancho took him” or “300”, a code that, according to experts, implies that the victim was killed.

Santiago Choc, a lawyer representing the Association of Relatives of the Detained and Disappeared of Guatemala (Famdegua), one of the plaintiff organizations, said that what Judge Bautista decided contradicts the evidence presented at the previous hearing by the lawyers and the MP, who argued that it was not appropriate to grant them house arrest, since the defendants are in stable health.

That article can be read in full at Juez beneficia a acusados del Diario Militar con arresto domiciliario; víctimas expresan indignación.

PBI-Guatemala has been accompanying the #CasoDiarioMilitar court hearing process that began in May-June 2021.

Photo by El Pais.

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