PRESS RELEASE | MAY 19th, 2022
MILITARY DIARY CASE
After being rescheduled twice, on Thursday, May 19, the first hearing of Toribio Acevedo Ramirez, who had been a fugitive since May 2021, accused of serious human rights violations recorded in the Military Diary, finally resumed.
During the verification of the attendance of the parties to the proceedings, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) pointed out that persons in formal attire who were in the audience took photographs of those present in the courtroom, without visibly carrying identification accrediting them as journalists. Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez requested respect for the parties of the proceedings and reminded that only the press may take photographs, of the public event.
Afterwards, the defendant Toribio Acevedo Ramirez answered identification questions to Judge Miguel Angel Galvez. Acevedo Ramirez was asked to expand on “his story”. Acevedo is 68 years old and a lawyer and notary public. He indicated that he studied at the Instituto Adolfo V. Hall Institute in Zacapa. In 1976, he was captured for homicide and was the subject of an investigation. He allegedly retired from the army a year later and in 1978 he began working in customs with the government. Acevedo Ramírez said he had never been discharged from the army. In 1982, he joined the Cementos Progreso soccer league, where he organized groups of gang members to play soccer. He stated that he worked in that company until 2017.
He assured that two months ago he gave the company an invoice for his professional services as a personal and legal advisor. “I am not going to answer a single question to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, nor to anyone else, only to you, your Honor, as many as you want,” he said.
Despite the fact that the accused had an international arrest warrant since May 2021, Acevedo Ramirez mentioned that at the time of his capture, he was on his way to Germany to see a daughter, but his son Byron took him through El Salvador.
MP CHARGES ACEVEDO RAMIREZ WITH PARTICIPATION IN A CRIMINAL STRUCTURE
According to the indictment issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Toribio Acevedo Ramírez, alias “El Loco, Locuaz or Lucas” allegedly participated in clandestine and illegal structures which are accused of crimes against persons registered in the Military Diary, from August 29th, 1983 to April 30th, 1985. These structures are formed of State security agents, specialist collaborators, undercover agents, and informants.
He is also accused of concealing the fate and whereabouts of at least 131 people, extrajudicial deprivation of life of at least 15 people, internal and international displacement of at least 27 people, searches and theft of goods and valuables from at least 36 properties, subjection to interrogation through torture, cruel treatment, violence, and rape against at least 28 women because of their gender.
These actions were part of a common plan designed and executed by the State security forces jointly, the results of which were documented in the document known as the Military Diary. The common plan included the execution of operations outside the national and international legal order, the arbitrary use of force and the structural impunity of the operations, in order to generate generalized terror among the population.
The objective of these operations was to obtain, systematize and analyze the information gathered in order to profile groups and individuals classified as internal enemies. Toribio Acevedo had control and command of the outcome that led to the unknown fate and whereabouts of Marvin Girón Ruano, Jorge Alfonso Gregorio Velásquez Soto, Alma Lucrecia Osorio Bobadilla, Amancio Samuel Villatoro and Juan Pablo Armira López who was only 12 years old.