BTS: Military Diary Case – Special Bulletin 23

The Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network (BTS) recently posted a Special Bulletin on the Military Diary Case (Caso Diario Militar) currently ongoing in Guatemala. The Military Diary, or Death Squad Diary, case relates to past crimes against humanity and is a particularly egregious example of state violence and terror carried out on behalf of the Guatemala elite during the internal armed conflict.

The Bulletin begins:

After almost four months the preliminary hearing of Gustavo Adolfo Oliva Blanco and Víctor Augusto Vásquez Echeverría began. Since their capture, they have been held in the military medical center due to health problems. Because they indicated having hearing problems, they purportedly could not hear what was happening in the hearings. Expert medical reports determined that their health was stable, and they had no impediment to face justice.

Before starting, both the representative of the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) and the High-Risk Court “B” tested the hearing aids that were used in the court and determined that they would work perfectly for the accused Oliva Blanco and Vásquez Echeverría.

The accused held strategic positions within the state security forces. Retired Lieutenant Colonel Gustavo Adolfo Oliva Blanco served as head of the Department of Technical Investigations (DIT) from August 16th, 1982, to February 1st, 1984, during the de facto government of General Mejía Víctores. Retired General Víctor Augusto Vásquez Echeverría served as commander of Military Zone No. 302 in Chimaltenango, a position he held from April 16th, 1983, to May 31st, 1985.

According to the MP, in his position, Oliva Blanco concealed the fate and whereabouts of at least 131 people, 6 of whom were exhumed and identified in military installations. He is also accused of the murder of 15 people (whose bodies were found on the public highway with signs of torture), illegal raids, and the cataloging of children and adolescents as internal enemies.

All the illegally detained persons were subjected to torture. At least 28 women were subjected to violence and rape, of which 4 were pregnant and one of which was a 9-year-old girl. As such, Oliva Blanco is accused of forming part of the structure of clandestine and illegal detention centers, where people were detained and subjected to torture, cruel treatment, violence, and women, to rape.

You can read the full Special Bulletin here Military Diary Case – Special Bulletin 23 where you can also download the report.

You can find background, including links, in this piece featured previously, here, Eleven Former Members of the Military Arrested for Crimes against Humanity in the Death Squad Diary Case.

Categories: Accompaniment, Gender, Genocide, Guatemala, Human Rights, Impunity, Indigenous peoples, Justice, Land, Military, Report, Solidarity in Action, Solidarity in Action/Guatemala, Violence

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