CICIG - The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala
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At the forum "Young and Committed", Commissioner Iván Velásquez called upon the youth to join forces in fighting impunity.

PRESS RELEASE 048

ESCUINTLA JUDGE ARRESTED

Guatemala, August 12, 2011. This morning, Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) officials and National Civil Police (PNC) officers, with the support of CICIG, arrested Mario Fernando Peralta Castañeda, judge of the Court of the First Instance for Children and Adolescents and Adolescents in Conflict with Criminal Law (Department of Escuintla), for his alleged involvement in illegal adoption procedures to adopt Guatemalan children. The arrest was conducted at 6:00 a.m. at his residence in the municipality of Escuintla.

Peralta Castañeda is accused of criminal association, human trafficking, malfeasance of office, conspiracy and denial of justice for his alleged involvement in a structure that sought to profit through the illegal adoption of the girl Dafne Nayeli Camey Pérez (Yajaira Noemí Muyus [name used in the illegal adoption]).

CICIG acts as a complementary prosecutor in these criminal proceedings concerning a criminal organization. In the organization, under the protection of the Regulatory Law of Notary Proceedings, Iris Magaly Muyus and the lawyers María Beatriz Armas Galindo de Ortega and Juan Carlos Pinillos García, together with Susana María de la Asunción Luarca Saracho, Enriqueta Francisca Noriega Cano of the Asociación Primavera, César Augusto Galicia Prera of the Attorney General of the Nation's Office (PGN), and in concert with, Judge Peralta Castañeda, executed illegal adoption procedures.

BACKGROUND FACTS:
On April 26, 2007, the child Dafne Nayeli Camey Pérez (who was given the name Yajaira Noemí Muyus) was handed over to the Asociación Primavera home, with the aim of opening, on April 28, 2007, a proceeding before Judge Mario Fernando Peralta Castañeda for children and adolescents whose human rights have been threatened or violated. On July 26, 2007, Judge Peralta Castañeda issued a judgement declaring the abandonment of the child, without taking the necessary steps to locate the true mother of the child, even though he was aware of the false identity of the child, as demonstrated by the negative DNA test result. In the same judgement, Judge Mario Fernando Peralta Castañeda awarded custody of the child to the Asociación Primavera as well as ordering her inclusion in its adoption programs.

The judgement of Judge Peralta Castañeda facilitated the opening of the adoption procedure; the process was cut short on May 30, 2008, when the biological mother of the child identified her child and requested that the Asociación Primavera return her.

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        About Guatemala
  The Republic of Guatemala, a mountainous country that lies in the Central American isthmus, has an estimated population of 13 million people.
  Guatemala won its independence in 1821, following almost three centuries of Spanish colonial rule.
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