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 039

SWISS PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE INVESTIGATES CHARGES MADE AGAINST ERWIN SPERISEN AND IN GUATEMALA JUDGES SHELVE PROCEEDINGS AGAINST TWO OTHERS


Guatemala, May 23, 2011. Swiss prosecutor Michel Alexandre Graber has opened investigations into a number of charges filed against Erwin Johan Sperisen Vernon, including those linked to the El Pavón prison case, in which imprisoned inmates were extra-judicially killed.
The investigations address:

  1. Extra-judicial killings at the Finca Nueva Linda in Retalhuleu Department on August 31, 2004.
  2. The murder of Álvaro Juárez in Petén Department on July 8, 2005.
  3. Extra-judicial killings of fugitive inmates of the El Infiernito maximum-security prison: Edwin Estuardo Santacruz Rodríguez (November 3, 2005 in Rio Hondo, Zacapa Department); Hugo Humberto Ruíz Fuentes (November 14, 2005 in Barberena, Santa Rosa Department) and Julián Morales Blanco and José María Maldonado Sosa (December 1, 2005 in Los Amates, Santa María Ixhuatán municipality).
  4. Extra-judicial killings of seven inmates at the El Pavón prison on September 25, 2006.
  5. Killings of four Salvadorians—three PARLACEN members and their driver—on February 19, 2007.
  6. Killings of four National Civil Police (PNC) officers at the El Boquerón prison on February 25, 2007. PNC Officers: Luis Arturo Herrera López, José Korki López Arreaga, Marvin Langen Escobar Méndez and José Adolfo Gutiérrez.

The Swiss justice system is investigating these facts, whereas in Guatemala, the First High‑Risk Trial Court has closed proceedings against former Director of the Prison System, Alejandro Eduardo Giammattei Falla, who had been charged with criminal association in relation to the extra-judicial killings of seven inmates of the El Pavón prison in September 2006.

According to the head of this Court, the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP) filed the criminal association charge prior to the entering into force of the Anti-Organized Crime Act, without presenting any evidence to substantiate the accusation. However, the criminal association charge is, in this case, for a continuing offence, and when the extra-judicial killings took place (on September 25, 2006), the Act had been in force for one month, following its implementation on August 25, 2006. According to the investigative body and the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala, sufficient evidence was filed to duly substantiate the charge, but the judge dismissed the evidence by wrongly applying the law.

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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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