The Ecuadorian police officer Germán Cáceres was sentenced to serve more than 34 years in prison for the femicide of his partner, the lawyer María Belén Bernal, a fact that at the time generated changes in the cabinet and a reorganization in terms of gender of the plans of security force training
In the same Criminal Court ruling, Second Lieutenant Alfonso Camacho was declared innocent, although the defense of Bernal’s family had requested a 22-year sentence for the alleged crime of omission.
“I feel satisfied (with the sentence of Germán Cáceres). However, this does not give me back to my María Belén, I will continue on the streets,” said Elizabeth Otavalo, Bernal’s mother.
Bernal’s defense also requested that a bust of the lawyer be placed outside the Police School, where the crime occurred, and financial compensation.
Women’s groups held a “sit-in” yesterday outside the Northern Judicial Complex, in Quito, while they awaited the sentence against Cáceres, reported the Primicias site.
Bernal was murdered at the Higher Police School on September 11, 2022, when she went to visit her husband, Lieutenant Cáceres.
Her family reported her missing, and police, firefighters, tax agents and municipal officials searched for the woman for a week.
On the seventh day of his search, the body was found on the Casitagua hill, close to the police institution, an area that had already been searched before.
By then, Cáceres had already fled, and was only arrested months later in Colombia. The sentence is 34 years and 8 months.
The crime had a high resonance in Ecuadorian society and mobilized feminist groups and human rights defenders, who demanded more resources from the Government of President Guillermo Lasso for the application of existing policies and instruments to eradicate femicides.
Because of the case, Lasso ordered the dismissal of two generals and the then Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, and ordered a modification of the study plans in police schools to incorporate the gender perspective.