Ecuador: the lover of the former Quito Police lieutenant who killed his wife could regain freedom
Elizabeth Otavalo, mother of María Belén Bernal, said that a surprising discovery on her daughter's phone “saved her husband's girlfriend”
Yalilé LoaizaFrom Quito< i class="i-share-btn linkedin">
María Belén Bernal entered the Quito Higher Police School on September 11, 2022, where she was murdered by her husband, then a police lieutenant.
Elizabeth Otavalo, mother ofMaría Belén Bernal, the lawyer who was murdered by her husband, Germán Cáceres, at the Police School in Quito, in September 2022, has revealed that < b>Josselyn Sánchez, the cadet who has been detained for more than three months in a prison in the capital and who had a relationship with Cáceres, could be released due to a message that was found in Bernal's mobile phone.
María Belén Bernal, lawyer and mother of a 13-year-old boy, entered the Police School in northern Quito on September 11, 2022. She went to see her husband, then lieutenant Germán Cáceres, who, according to his own testimony, murdered her, under the influence of alcohol, in her bedroom after beating her. Then he hid the body until he could get it out of the police compound and bury it on a hill near the place. According to Cáceres, he always acted alone, although this version does not convince Otavalo, who has assured that Cáceres is following a script to cover up his accomplices.
Sánchez has confirmed that he had a relationship with Cáceres, superior to her in rank. According to an audio that was made public and that would belong to Sánchez's lawyers. The morning of the murder, Cáceres looked for Sánchez in an adjoining bedroom where she would have told him to stay with her and they would have had sexual relations.
The Joint work between the Ecuadorian and Colombian authorities allowed the capture of the main suspect in the femicide of María Belén Bernal, the woman who was murdered in a police station in Quito. (Twitter/National Police)
María Belén Bernal was declared missing and after ten days of searching her body was found. Cáceres was a fugitive and had a red alert from Interpol, until he was captured on a beach in northern Colombia, on December 30, 2022. Since January 3, he has been imprisoned in the maximum prison security La Roca, in Guayaquil.
According to what Elizabeth Otavalo told El Universo, the State Attorney General's Office requested the review of measures against Sánchez after they carried out an expert examination on María Belén Bernal's mobile phone and not because of the extended version of Cáceres, which happened on January 12 of this year: “There is compelling proof on the phone, my daughter saved her husband's girlfriend,” Otavalo said.
Bernal's mother has called it “amazing” to evidence investigators found on her daughter's phone, but withheld details so as not to hinder the investigation.
Cadet Josselyn Sánchez was detained for investigation into the femicide of María Belén Bernal. Sánchez has confirmed that she had a relationship with Germán Cáceres, superior to her in rank and instructor at the Police School. (Radio Pichincha)
The prosecution investigation in this case ended on January 15 and the judge's decision is awaited to find out if Cáceres and the others involved will be called to trial. While Sánchez must wait until Wednesday, January 18, to find out if he is released or if his prison is replaced with other measures such as the use of a shackle or frequent appearance before a court.
The femicide that put the National Police on the ropes
The femicide of María Belén Bernal perpetrated by an officer on duty inside a police station shocked and outraged the country, while showed the weaknesses of the police institution and questioned the “esprit de corps”. The latter has been denied by the authorities, who have ensured that those responsible must receive “the full weight of the law”.
According to the latest opinion study by the polling company Ipsos, in Ecuador, citizen trust in the National Police does not exceed 25%.
When it became known about the femicide of María Belén Bernal. Thousands of women marched demanding justice. (REUTERS/Cristina Vega Rhor)
The family of María Belén Bernal completely changed her life since the fateful September 11, 2022. Elizabeth Otavalo left her job and, since then, has dedicated herself to demanding transparency and justice.
For his part, Isaack, the son of María Belén Bernal, has also shown his pain at the femicide of his mother. On January 6 of this year, he published on his Twitter account: “If you think that killing my mom is a common act, remember that they took my world away from me, Germán called you dad and you betrayed me, now I understand that my mom was a father and a mother.”
Bernal's family has not only dealt with loss and public exposure but also with smear campaigns against María Belen Bernal. When Cáceres was apprehended, hundreds of social media accounts defended him and accused Bernal of being a “problematic” woman.