PRESS RELEASE | APRIL 5th, 2022
MILITARY DIARY CASE
In the fifth session of the Intermediary Phase of the Military Diary Case, the Human Rights Prosecutor of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) presented a summary of the operations carried out by the clandestine and illegal structures to which the presently accused allegedly belonged and continued presenting proof against Enrique Cifuentes de la Cruz.
CIFUENTES DE LA CRUZ IS ITENDIFIED AS A CAPTOR AND A TORTURER
The MP began by reminding the court of the participation of Daniel Monterroso Villagrán in the capture, relocation, and cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment against Rubén Amilcar Farfán; as well as the participation of Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez in the operations on March 7th and 8th, 1983 when the Meza Soberanis siblings were captured.
The MP also gave a summary of the operation on January 2nd, 1984, against the Osorio Bobadilla family and the operation on March 11th to 13th, 1984, where Álvaro René Sosa Ramos was a victim, and where the accused Rone René Lara also participated. The MP summarized the participation of Enrique Cifuentes de la Cruz in the operations carried out from November 2 to 7, and 24 of 1984.
Likewise, the MP mentioned the documents seized from the home of Oliva Blanco, which reveal surveillance and systematic recording of the Guatemalan Labour Party (PGT) structures, of which 104 persons in the Military Diary were part of. Those documents register the operations for which former police and military officials are accused.
The Prosecution continued presenting the proof gathered to demonstrate Cifuentes de la Cruz’s participation in other operations including those committed with violence in the homes of the victims registered in the Military Diary.
“Elba, we are going to ask you to be calm, we don’t kill entire families as before”, testified Dora Elizabeth Osorio, sister of Alma Lucrecia Osorio Bobadilla, registered in the Military Diary with No. 34.
Cifuentes de la Cruz is accused, at minimum, of attempted murder, the murder of another, crimes against humanity against at least 12 persons, and the enforced disappearance of 9 persons.
As part of the clandestine and illegal structures, Cifuentes de la Cruz, under the authority of State security forces, contributed to the detention of individuals in clandestine detention centers, and participated in the captures, raids, and subjugation of the victims to cruel treatments.
The prosecution has established a pattern where victims were detained in such a way they could see each other and were subjected to interrogations. Women were subjected to gender-based violence including sexual violence and sexual slavery.
The MP read one of the witness testimonies detailing torture with electrical shocks, blows, and subjection to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment.
Another protected witness pointed out that they had to flee into exile, like many families of the prosecuted, monitored, controlled, or detained by the clandestine and illegal structures. This witness fled because they lived under the constant threat of being forcibly disappeared, as more than 45,000 people were detained and disappeared in Guatemala during the internal armed conflict.
“(…) and I began to scream, two men entered, they grabbed my sons and twisted their arms backwards. They did this to my mother in-law and myself. They interrogated my sons and searched the entire place”, the prosecution read this witness testimony which narrates how individuals arriving in a white van subjected their family to cruel treatments.
In the witness testimony of Álvaro René Sosa Ramos, registered as No. 87 in the Military Diary, he recounts recognizing unionist Amancio Samuel Villatoro, No. 55. Samuel Villatoro, who was exhumed years later in the Military Zone of Chimaltenango with another six persons registered in the Military Diary.
Sosa Ramos also identified the minor Juan Pablo Armira Lopez, No. 86. This entry states he was “sent to Chimaltenango”. Due to the persecution in that region and serious violations against human rights, the Armira Lopez family, who were originally from Chimaltenango, were forced to flee to Guatemala City.
“I remember that several days after Juan Pablo was disappeared, a man came to the house, saying that Quirina had to prepare clothes, he took her and she never returned”, the MP read in a witness testimony from family members of the siblings Armira López. María Quirina, sister of Juan Pablo is also logged in the Military Diary as No. 94. Both were minors. (Juan was 12 and Maria was 15).
Likewise, Sosa Ramos identified Alma Lucrecia Osorio Bobadilla, subjected to domestic slavery; Silvio Matricardi, No. 92, a teacher detained on March 11th, 1984, and whose body appeared on March 14th, 1984, and Mario Enrique Chavez Ovalle, No. 91, who did not belong to any political organization. “During my captivity I was tortured, they held me tied up and continued asking me which organization I belonged to, and to name people”, Sosa Ramos narrates his detention in his testimony, demonstrating the circuit of intelligence and tactical interrogation.
David Mandel-Anthony, Senior Policy Advisor of the U.S. Department of State Office of Global Criminal Justice, and Carlos Moya Linares, Official in charge of Human Rights of the US Embassy in Guatemala, accompanied the hearing on Tuesday, April 5th and listened to part of the means of conviction that the MP presented.
Upon completion of the presentation of the proof gathered against Enrique Cifuentes de la Cruz, Judge Miguel Angel Galvez adjourned the hearing until Wednesday, April 6 at 9:00am.