In Ecuador, an ex-policeman was sentenced Thursday, May 26 to nearly 35 years in prison for the murder of his wife. The case had made all the more noise as this feminicide took place within the confines of an establishment which trains police officers.
On September 11, Maria Belen Bernal entered the Superior School of Police in Quito to visit her husband, Lieutenant German Caceres. This young 34-year-old lawyer was then seen alive for the last time. Her mother reports her missing and launches a public campaign to find her. ” Where is Maria Belen Bernal? chanted thousands of demonstrators in the streets. A question taken up by all the Ecuadorian press.
Ten days later, the young woman’s body was found on a hill near the police academy. His mother denounces a state crime, because Maria Belen Bernal died in a police institution. The country is in shock. The credibility of law enforcement is affected.
Under pressure, President Guillermo Lasso dismisses interior minister, Patricio Carrillo, as well as two generals and asks the population for forgiveness. The killer is on the run. It is her husband, German Caceres who was finally arrested in December in Colombia.
During his trial, he admitted to the murder of his wife, a crime for which he receives the maximum sentence of 34 years and eight months in prison. ” On the basis of the evidence presented and accepting the request made by the public prosecutor’s office, the Court of Criminal Guarantees, unanimously, sentenced German C. to an aggravated maximum sentence of 34 years and 8 months in prison as the author of the crime of feminicide “said the prosecutor.
The judges also asked that the police academy present a public apology as well as award a medal bearing the name of Maria Belen Bernal to the best elements of each promotion. In addition, they also requested that human rights, especially gender issues, be addressed in the first year of training.
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