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.

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA 042

FORMER MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR TO STAND TRIAL

Guatemala, May 31, 2011. The Tenth Court of the First Criminal Instance ordered that the former Minister of the Interior, Raúl Antonio Velásquez Ramos, be tried for his alleged involvement in the misappropriation of GTQ 39.4 million through the company Proyectos Maskana S.A. The money had been allocated to the purchase of fuel for the National Civil Police (PNC) in 2009.

After analyzing the evidence, Judge Verónica Galicia ruled that Velásquez should be tried on charges of abuse of authority, extortion, money laundering, conspiracy to commit extortion and fraud. The count of fraud was added ex officio by the judge, based on a request made by Marco Tulio Juárez Chavarría, a civil party in the proceedings and the aggrieved owner of the Estación de Servicios Juárez gas station. Juárez Chavarría requested compensation of GTQ 190,000.

Given the continued risk of flight, the judge rejected the petition of the defense counsel to discontinue the proceedings against Velásquez and to award him alternative measures to be released from prison. The hearing to offer evidence has been programmed to be held at the aforementioned court on June 13 at 14.00 hours. In addition, the Third Court of Criminal Sentencing was assigned the trial of the former public servant.

Convicted
In this case, the following individuals have been convicted: José Aníbal Hernández Nova (former advisor to Velásquez), 10 years in prison and the payment of a GTQ 205,000 fine on charges of extortion and money laundering; Baltazar Gómez Barrios (former PNC Director) and Héctor Israel Lapoyeu López (former Deputy General Director of Logistics Support of the police) were sentenced to 5 and 2 years in prison, respectively.

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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