a court of Ecuador sentenced this Thursday to 34 years and 8 months in prison to the former police officer German Caceres for him femicide of his wife, the lawyer Maria Belen Bernalwhose case shook Ecuadorian society and became a symbol of sexist violence in the country when she was murdered inside a police precinct.
The magistrates of the North Judicial Complex of Quito they applied against Cáceres the maximum aggravated sentence in the Ecuadorian penal code for the crime of femicide and imposed a comprehensive reparation for the Bernal family of about 260,000 dollars.
LOOK HERE: “The only thing my daughter did was love you, why did you kill her?”: the unanswered questions of the mother of María Belén Bernal
In turn, they acquitted the policeman Alphonse Camachowho had been accused by the Prosecutor’s Office for an alleged crime of omission of help.
The events occurred on September 11, 2022 in the Higher School of Policelocated in the north of Quito, where Cáceres killed Bernal and then hid his body, which was not found until 10 days later, while he fled and was not captured until the end of December in Colombia.
After the Prosecutor’s Office completed its final argument on Thursday, the court in charge of the trial did not delay the resolution and issued the sentence against Cáceres on the same day.
After the end of the hearing, elizabeth otavalomother of Maria Belen Bernalanticipated that they will appeal the sentence because they consider that Camacho is also guilty, although he stated that he was satisfied with the sentence awarded to Cáceres.
“I feel satisfied because it is the maximum that the norm determines, but this does not bring me back to my María Belén. I will continue in the streets”, warned Otavalo, who reiterated his complaint against the State.
“It is a completely hard road without the accompaniment of State institutions. What we have accompaniment is from women and human rights groups. It is an indolent State that does not watch over the rights of women. He has never done anything for women. Here we are and they keep killing us”, he added.
MORE INFORMATION: Who was María Belén Bernal, the lawyer who was found dead after disappearing in a police school in Ecuador
From the beginning, Otavalo described the femicide of her daughter as a State crime for having occurred inside a police headquarters that is in charge of the State and where María Belén Bernal is supposed to have been protected.
For his part, the lawyer for the Bernal family, jesus lopezindicated that the integral reparation also includes the creation of a medal called “María Belén Bernal” that will be delivered “to the best cadet who obtains the first seniority within the Higher Police School”.
He also urged the National Police to teach within the curriculum of the Higher School the subject of human rights with a gender perspective.
The autopsy revealed that María Belén Bernal was strangled to death in the middle of an argument with Cáceres inside the room that he had at the Higher Police School, where he worked as an instructor.
The ex-policeman, who confessed to the crime once he was arrested, managed to get his wife’s body out of the police station and threw it onto a nearby hill, so Bernal remained missing for ten days, during which her case drew public attention. national and feminist protests against the Police.
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Meanwhile, Cáceres took the opportunity to flee the country and was not captured until more than three months later in Colombia, where he was immediately expelled and made available to the Ecuadorian authorities.
María Belén Bernal was one of the 332 femicides registered in Ecuador in 2022, according to data from the VILLAGE FOUNDATION Next to the Spotlight Initiativewhich represents the year with the most cases since in 2014 the crime of femicide.
I am Jack Morton and I work in 24 News Recorder. I mostly cover world news and I have also authored 24 news recorder. I find this work highly interesting and it allows me to keep up with current events happening around the world.