Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Captors of Nineth Montenegro's First Husband Finally Identified

Investigation on the part of the Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos (Procurator for Human Rights) enabled the indentification of those responsible for the disappearance, 25 years ago, of university student, Edgar Fernando García, Congresswoman Nineth Montenegro's first husband.

The congresswoman was stunned by the news, learning that the investigation by the PDH had discovered the names of those responsible. "I can't believe it. I'm sweating, sitting still, wondering what they said to my daughter," said the congresswoman.

When the news arrived, she learned that the parties responsible were from the Fourth Corps of the National Police and the names of her husband's captors were known. She also learned that her husband was taken on February 18, 1984, from near the market El Guarda in Zone 11. Ms. Montenegro also noted that some of the police involved are still active on the force and others have been captured.

Attorney Sergio Morales, said that one of the police officers detained is the Distinguished Commissioner of Quetzaltenango, Rodero Héctor Ramírez Ríos. The attorney added that he has issued several arrest warrants and expects that they will be carried out promptly.

An excited Nineth Montenegro said, "It's a gift that 25 years later we can find the thread and follow it. I am grateful to the Human Rights Procurator, because he did what no one else would do for us."

Montenegro was repeatedly frustrated in her attempts to access the files of the EMP, which documented human rights violations during the 1980's. During that period there were hundreds of such "forced disappearances". The congresswoman also made repeated attempts to access the files of the Ministry of Defense regarding her husband but when she did gain access all she got was a packet of disordered papers containing no useful information. At the time she said that it appeared to her that it was intentional that she not be allowed to see the files.

The PDH indicated that the information came not only from files but from various other sources.

Hilda Morales, from the Red de la No Violencia contra las Mujeres, said there are great expectations about learning what is in the files of the National Police. "This will bring to light incidents that have been denied for years," she said. There is concrete information in those files about cases where the public has been accusing the police for what happened. She said that justice must proceed from this investigation and with the evidence obtained, bring about criminal convictions.

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