María Belén Bernal asked for help ten times before being murdered by her husband at the Quito Police School
An audio recorded by Bernal the night of his murder revealed the reasons for the fight and clarified some of the events of that fateful night
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María Belén Bernal entered the Quito Higher Police School on September 11, 2022, where she was murdered by her husband
More elements emerged that help to understand what happened on the fateful night of September 11, 2022, when the then Police Lieutenant, Germán Cáceres murdered his wife, at the Quito Police School. María Belén Bernal.
A recording found on the mobile phone of María Belén Bernal, a lawyer and mother of a 13-year-old boy, revealed that the woman asked for help at least ten times. In the middle of the argument with Cáceres, Bernal started recording the fight.
The audio from Bernal's phone lasts around two hours and reveals the reasons for the fight with Cáceres, according to the newspaper El Universo.
The fight happened in Cáceres' bedroom at the police station. Bernal had identified a sexual-type mark located at the height of Cáceres's shoulder. The then lieutenant told his wife that he had had sexual relations with another woman and that he had “seen her face,” meaning that he had cheated on her, for five years. Both got married in 2017.
The lawyer María Belén Bernal Otavalo and her husband, the then police lieutenant, Germán Cáceres
Then, Cáceres began to assault Bernal until applying a key with which he strangled her, according to Cáceres himself in its latest version. The audio reveals that Bernal yelled for help. She tried to complete sentences but couldn't, despite this continued to beg for help ten times until she was killed and the recording went silent.
This audio would be the test to which Elizabeth Otavalo, Bernal's mother, was referring to when she assured that her daughter “saved her husband's girlfriend”, since this element served to make the Prosecutor's Office request a change in the measures against Josselyn Sánchez , the police cadet who had a relationship with Cáceres and who, although she was not at the crime scene that night, was in the next room.
Sánchez was released this past Wednesday and alternative measures were applied, such as the ban on leaving the country.
Upon leaving prison, Sánchez gave a brief statement to the local press and said: “ I want to thank all the brave women who fought this fight with me, who supported me. Today I am free, I am innocent. He earned the justice that we had been asking for a long time.”
Cadet Josselyn Sánchez was detained (Radio Pichincha)
For her part, Otavalo said publicly that “this audio may free Joselyn Sánchez, but nothing on her conscience, and follow the other process, procedural fraud”. Bernal's mother assured that Sánchez was able to call ECU 911 or ask for help because he was in the next room but that he did nothing because “he didn't feel like it,” according to El Universo.
Otavalo pointed out that in the procedural fraud case, Sánchez will have to answer why he was with Germán Cáceres that night or why he did not help María Belén when she asked for help, among other questions.
Sánchez changed his version several times, in the first he claimed to have heard María Belén Bernal's cries for help, but in the last he said that she fell asleep and heard nothing.
Police found human remains on a hill in Quito. Then the authorities confirmed the discovery of María Belén Bernal (State Attorney General's Office)
Cáceres confessed that he murdered his wife and that, without help, he hid the body and took it out of the school of cop. Then he took him to Casitagua hill, 10 minutes from the police station, dug a hole and buried Bernal's body.
There are three people linked to the femicide of María Belén Bernal in the case: Germán Cáceres, who confessed to having murdered his wife, Josselyn Sánchez and Police Lieutenant Alfonso Camacho, linked by omission, since he would have been in the building where the murder took place that early morning.
The prosecutor's investigation stage of the case ended on January 15 and the Prosecutor's Office is expected to ask the judge for a date for the hearing evaluation and high school, where it will be decided whether or not those involved in this case are called to trial.