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Guatemala, July 8, 2011. The Twelfth Court of the First Criminal Instance ruled to prosecute lawyer Juan Carlos Pinillos García and public official César Augusto Galicia Prera for their alleged involvement in the illegal adoption procedure of a girl.

The two accused are charged with criminal association and human trafficking. Galicia Prera is also charged with noncompliance of duties for his ties to a criminal structure involved in processing illegal adoptions and seeking to hand over a child under the false name of Yajaira Noemí Muyus. The judge awarded alternative measures, which included setting bail at GTQ 5,000 for each of the accused individuals.

Pinillos García worked as a lawyer and notary, and Galicia Prera worked at the Attorney General of the Nation's Office (PGN). The Judge of Children of Escuintla, Mario Fernando Peralta Castañeda, is also implicated in this case. In order to conduct investigations into actions taken by Peralta in this case and that of another girl, the Supreme Court of Justice lifted his immunity.

Background facts
Lawyer Pinillos García, in complicity with other individuals (currently pending arrest), handed over the girl to Susana Luarca Saracho (charged with criminal association and human trafficking). The latter then brought a protection case and a statement of adoptability before Judge Peralta Castañeda, through the Asociación Primavera. The events took place between September 2006 and March 2008.

The minor's adoption was to be conducted against the will of her mother, with false documentation permitting an American family to adopt despite the DNA test establishing that the girl was not the child of the mother who handed her over for adoption.

Through the Asociación Primavera, Susana Luarca Saracho, with the support of Alma Beatriz Valle Flores de Mejía, initiated a voluntary adoption process to facilitate the illegal hand-over of the child. The accused failed to fulfill their objective: the complaints filed by the mother led the authorities to locate the child, who currently resides with her biological mother.

The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) serves as a complementary prosecutor in the present criminal proceedings.

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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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