Saturday, March 25, 2023

Guatemalan arrested for war crimes in Panama

GUATEMALA CITY ( Associated Press) — Guatemalan ex-military Toribio Acevedo Ramírez was arrested Tuesday night at the Tocumen airport, Panama, after a judge ordered prosecutors last week to search for him and prosecute him for his connection to one of the cases. emblematic of war crimes in Guatemala called the Diario Militar.

The Panamanian national police confirmed the arrest in a statement and explained that it was due to a red notice from Interpol for the crimes of forced disappearance, murder and against the duties of humanity. In addition, he stated that he would be immediately sent back to Guatemala.

According to the Panamanian authorities, Acevedo Ramírez was destined for Spain.

Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez ordered on Friday that nine former police officers and former soldiers face trial for the forced disappearance of 14 people, crimes against the duties of humanity of 21 people and the murder of three people who appear in the Diario Militar.

The document, also known as “Dossier”, was prepared by the same officers who participated in the crimes and documented the torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial execution of 183 people during the 1980s, in the midst of the war in Guatemala.

In his ruling, the judge ordered the prosecution to investigate Acevedo Ramírez since one of the witnesses’ accounts stated that he had also participated in the murders.

According to some human rights organizations, Acevedo Ramírez is a lawyer who currently serves as head of security at the cement company Cementos Progreso, and in his youth he would have been head of military intelligence operations that would have participated in the torture and disappearance of hundreds of Guatemalans.

In the announcement of his ruling, Judge Gálvez recounted part of the testimonies collected by the prosecution and narrated the crimes.

“They put them on flights and threw them into the ocean to eliminate evidence of torture,” said the magistrate, who listed the tortures – ripping out nails or tongues, rapes and electrocutions on the genitals of people – allegedly committed by orders of the accused.

The Diario Militar exposes the detention, disappearance and murder of students, professionals, activists and guerrillas. It was found in May 1999 and recorded the tactics of surveillance, capture, disappearance and murder between 1983 and 1986, during the government of General Óscar Humberto Mejía Víctores. Among the victims are at least two children.

After being located, the report was delivered to the National Security Archive of the George Washington University in the United States for safekeeping. There are dozens of discolored typewritten sheets that can be consulted on the Internet. Military codes appear in it that were later deciphered, such as the number 300 that appears written next to 99 cases and means “murder”.

In 2012, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights declared Guatemala responsible for the forced disappearance of 26 people who appear in the Diario Militar, as well as for the violation of their rights to personal liberty, integrity and life.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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