A criminal court in El Salvador acquitted five soldiers linked to the abuse of a girl in 2023, while a sixth accused will face trial, according to local media.

Salvadoran newspapers, such as La Prensa Gráfica and Diario El Mundo, citing judicial and prosecutorial sources, indicated that the First Investigative Court of the town of Santa Tecla issued the ruling after completing the investigation stage, so only the main accused would go to trial.

EFE asked two press liaisons from the Prosecutor’s Office to confirm or deny the information, but no response was received.

The acquitted soldiers could remain in detention and linked to the process if the Prosecutor’s Office appeals the decision and a chamber reverses the decision.

The Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office accused the six soldiers of aggravated deprivation of liberty, rape and aggravated sexual assault of a minor, injuries and threats.

According to the official story, The military intervened on a group of victims in the coastal town of Mizata, department of La Libertad, and the head of the patrol “separated the victim to another place where he perpetrated crimes of a sexual nature.”.

The role of the rest of the soldiers would have been to “hinder other people from intervening to avoid the task.”

In 2023, the The Prosecutor’s Office accused Sergeant Héctor Ovidio Alvarado as the main author by “taking one of the victims to a desolate part where he sexually abuses her, while The other agents of the Armed Forces continue threatening and beating the other victims“.

Years after the end of the civil war (1980-1992), governments assigned the Army to security tasks and currently thousands patrol the streets, along with elements of the National Civil Police.

According to a report by three humanitarian organizations, Salvadoran security forces have surpassed gangs in generating internal forced displacement and sexual harassment and abuse are among the generating events.

Data from Cristosal, Passionist Social Service (SSPAS) and the Human Rights Institute of the Central American University (Idhuca) indicate that the 223 victims of displacement that they have attended between 2022 and 2023 have reported threats (18.4%), surveillance ( 17%), arbitrary detention (16.6%) and ill-treatment and torture (14.8%) by police and soldiers.

Furthermore, among the violations that these people have reported to organizations are sexual harassment (2.2%) and sexual abuse (0.9%).

Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/absuelven-en-el-salvador-a-cinco-militares-investigados-por-abuso-de-una-nina-cb20

Leave a Reply