translated from Spanish: Former deputy will go to trial for journalist’s death in Guatemala

Guatemala.-Julio Juárez Ramírez, Guatemalan deputy official, will go to trial. He is accused of being the mastermind of the murder of a journalist in March 2015, a judge ordered on Tuesday. The highest-risk judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez, ruled that Juarez Ramírez will face justice for the murder of journalist Danilo Efraín Sapón López, which occurred in the municipality of Mazatenango, in the Department of Suchitepéquez, in the south of the country. Juarez Ramirez says he’s innocent of the charges. According to the investigation carried out by the Prosecutor and the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the then municipal mayor of Mazatenango, hatched the journalist’s death for the publications in which Sapón López pointed to Juárez Ramírez For tax fouls.

Judge of first instance Penal for processes of greater risk B, admitted the accusation of the special prosecutor against the impunity #FECI of the #MP against Julio Antonio Juárez Ramírez, former deputy to the Congress of the Republic. A self-opening trial was issued for murder. — Guatemala MP (@MPguatemala)
June 4, 2019

On the day of the crime Sapón López was with other journalists in a park located a few meters from a police station. During the attack also died Federico Benjamin Salazar Geronimo and was severely injured Marvin Israel Tunchez Ayala. However, the judge decided to prosecute the deputy for allegedly planning only the death of Sapón López. Juarez Ramirez has been detained since January 2018, after the Supreme Court of Justice withdrew his immunity to be investigated for the murder. Two weeks after Juarez Ramírez lost his immunity, President Jimmy Morales visited the municipality of Mazatenango to support the legislator and ask the population to applaud the work of the politician.

In December 2017, the U.S. State Department included Juarez Ramírez on a list of people involved in serious human rights abuses and corruption under the Global Magnitsky law.
The inclusion of Juarez symbolizes America’s strong commitment to promoting human rights, both in Guatemala and the whole world, «the US government said.

Original source in Spanish

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