Latin America

The search continues for a missing lawyer in Ecuador | News

Members of the National Police of Ecuador and other forces continued this Saturday morning searching for lawyer María Belén Bernal, who disappeared on the night of Sunday, September 11, after entering the Alberto Enríquez Gallo General Police High School. . in sequence:

Ecuadorian police find belongings of missing lawyer

The operation was carried out in the surroundings of this facility, located north of Quito (capital), where the lawyer’s husband, Lieutenant Germán Cáceres, who is a fugitive and has an arrest warrant, works as a trainer.

Members of the Intervention and Rescue Group, the Special Operations Group, the Order Maintenance Unit and the National Directorate of Crimes against Life, Violent Deaths, Disappearances, Extortion and Kidnapping (Dinased), in addition to the Prosecutor’s Office, participated in the work. , motorized, firefighters and canine unit.

This Saturday, the Attorney General’s Office reported through Twitter that charges were filed against Joselyn Brigitte SP, a cadet at the Higher Police School, for alleged involuntary disappearance and ordered her preventive detention. Local media announced that this young woman had an extramarital relationship with Cáceres.

Prior to this hearing, the lawyer’s mother, Elizabeth Otavalo, declared that the relatives fear that the National Police wants to cover up Cáceres and this case will go unpunished.

Other case details

According to local media, María Belén Bernal arrived at the Superior Police School in her car and there are records of her entry. Hours later, her husband left through the back door of the institution driving this vehicle, which was not inspected by the agents at the door.

The Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, assured that these agents incurred a security breach. In addition, he said that the car that Cáceres was driving had tinted windows, so it was not possible to look inside to see if he was traveling with someone else.

The latter was denied by Otavalo, who stated that his daughter’s vehicle did not have tinted windows.

I have ordered that all activities of the Police School be suspended and a thorough search and block search be made in and around the ESP.
Total transparency and zero tolerance for gender violence. In addition, we will file a complaint as @MinInteriorEc.

– Patricio Carrillo (@CarrilloRosero)
September 15, 2022

During a preliminary investigation before the Prosecutor’s Office, where he was held for eight hours, Cáceres stated that María Belén Bernal left the police school aboard a taxi.

Later it was determined that he lied because there are no records of his leaving the facility, where the wallet and a shoe belonging to the lawyer were found.

Otavalo also questions that Cáceres was released (which allowed his escape), although Ecuador’s attorney general, Diana Salazar, pointed out that they were only able to retain the main suspect in the case during that time because no preventive detention was issued against him.

During the last few hours, the Bernal family’s lawyer, Galo Quiñones, told local media that the luminol tests carried out in Cáceres’s room at the police school were positive.

In addition, he reported that on the night of the disappearance screams, blows, noises and calls for help were heard in that room, which suggests that the worst has happened, he said.

Disclaimer: Via Telesur – Translated by RJ983

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