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

PRESS RELEASE 036

PORTILLO CASE JUDGEMENT

Guatemala, May 10, 2011. The International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala considers the trial of former President Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera and his two former ministers, Manuel Hiram Maza Castellanos (Finance) and Eduardo Arévalo Lacs (Defence), to be one of the most important trials currently underway in Guatemala. The trio are charged with misappropriating GTQ 120 million (USD 15 million) in 2001 from the Ministry of National Defence.

The acquittal issued by the judges of the Eleventh Trial Court, Patricia Anabella Veras Castillo and Coralia Carmina Contreras Flores, reflects the true state of Guatemalan justice and reaffirms the mission of CICIG to continue fighting impunity. The President of the Eleventh Court, Morelia Ríos Arana de Villalta, opposed the acquittal, issuing a dissenting opinion.

CICIG firmly believes there was strong evidence—expert opinions, documents and witness statements—to convict the three accused individuals. The President of the Court expressed the same opinion in her dissenting opinion. Therefore, as soon as the full content of the acquittal is available, CICIG, together with the Public Prosecutor's Office (MP), shall exhaust all resources provided for by Guatemalan legislation in order to reduce impunity levels.

Guatemalan society should demand impartial, equal and independent justice to ensure lawful, timely and transparent justice administration for all citizens. This is the only way to progress in the fight of thousands of people seeking a future and a country with opportunities, justice and faith in the institutions.

Nobody can be above the law.

FOR A CULTURE OF LAWFULNESS

 

Dissenting opinion of Judge Morelia Ríos


(Taken from Telecentro 13)

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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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