Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Domestic Violence Trial Begins

The first trial for domestic violence under the new Ley Contra el Femicidio (Law Against Femicide), passed by Congress in April 2008, began today when a court heard testimony from the victim and a witness. In her statement, Vilma Angelica Marroquin de La Cruz, 34, told the court that the assault was by her husband, Simon Calixto Cun, against whom the prosecutor seeks 12 years imprisonment.

Simon was arrested on June 2, 2008 when, in full public view, he slapped and kicked his wife.

According to police records, domestic violence killed 722 women last year, 384 of them in the metropolitan area. Meanwhile, according to the PNC, the number of women killed so far in 2009 has been 29.

After hearing the victim and the witness, the officer who arrested the assailant, the court announced that it will set a date for the next hearing and likely hear the testimony of the accused.

Ramirez Remains Return to Rio Dulce

The Guatemalan Foreign Ministry announced today that the bodies of Ana Elizabeth Ramirez Carías and her three daughters will be repatriated to the country to be buried in Rio Dulce, Izabal.

On January 27, Lupo's family was found dead with bullet wounds to the head at his home in a suburb of Los Angeles, California. It is believed that the father, Ervin Lupo, overwhelmed by debts, killed his wife and children and then committed suicide.

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The Foreign Ministry said that the Guatemalan Consulate in Los Angeles agreed to repatriate the remains of Ramirez and her daughters Brittney, Jasmine and Jassely, while her sons, Benjamin and Christian, and Lupo, will be cremated in Los Angeles. The costs will be borne by the Government, through the consulate.

"They were an incredibly happy family, very united. They laughed, smiled constantly? Why did this happen?" lamented Lupo Yolanda, sister of Ervin. "...my brother was a very compassionate father, loving, that he loved his family. They had no hope. I can imagine how things began to pile up, constantly without any hope".