Photo with a pink filter: judge in the background at a desk facing 3 female layers with their backs to the camera in a court room

By: Laura Robinson

On May 16th, 2021, the ex-civil patroller Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado was located and arrested by the Guatemalan Attorney General in Zone 18 of Guatemala City. Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado has been a fugitive from justice in connection to Maya Achi Sexual Violence Case since 2018. He is also wanted for crimes against humanity committed during the massacres in Río Negro. Upon capture, he gave false identity documents. 

On May 26th, 2021, judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, of High-Risk Court B, ruled that the case against Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado would proceed to an intermediary hearing on September 7th, 2021. Furthermore, the judge decided that Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado would remain in custody because of the flight risk he poses. The crimes he will be charged with include: crimes against humanity and charges related to living under a fake identity to evade capture. 

As a result of the bravery and perseverance of the 36 women and staff of the Rabinal Legal Clinic, there are four ex-civil patrollers facing trial on January 4th, 2022: Bernardo Ruiz Aquino, Benbenuto Ruiz Aquino, Damian Cuxum Alvarado, and Francisco Cuxum Alvarado. Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado is the brother of the two latter accused men. Pending the decision reached by judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez in the intermediary trial, Gabriel Cuxum Alvarado will also face trial in 2022.

The Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network stands in solidarity with the women moving this case forward and shares in the hopes of an expedient and just trial despite the hardships compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the troubling climate of impunity concerning the new composition of the Courts in Guatemala which reflect the lack of impartiality against human rights and the rights of Indigenous peoples.