The conviction of Guatemala’s former National Director of Police for a number of murders is a very significant step forward in the fight against impunity that has plagued Guatemala in the past, said Amnesty International today.
Erwin Sperisen was found guilty of the murders of seven men by a Swiss court today, and sentenced to life imprisonment. The decision can be appealed.
The court found that he had been involved in the murder of seven inmates who were killed during a police raid on the El Pavón prison in 2006. In six cases he was indirectly involved, and in one he was found to have directly committed the murder, according to the court.
“Today’s result is a positive step in the fight against a culture of impunity in Guatemala. This verdict strengthens the rule of law and is a wake-up call for all those attempting to hide their crimes behind positions of authority,” said Sebastian Elgueta, Researcher for Guatemala, Amnesty International.