On November 9th, we accompanied the BDH to a hearing when the verdict in the Bernardo Caal Xol case was handed down in a court in Cobán. The judge restricted recordings and taking photographs in the courtroom before he handed down the verdict sentencing Bernardo Caal Xol to seven year and four months in prison for the crimes of illegal detention, switchable at a rate of Q5 per day and six years no payable for the crime of aggravated robbery. Bernardo was convicted despite evidence put forth by his defense attorneys which showed that he was not at the scene at the time of the events. According to the BDH lawyers, this is an arbitrary verdict, result of the criminalization that Bernardo is suffering. In his statement to the press, Bernardo called on the international community to continue to follow the case, fight against this injustice, and he called on the CICIG to investigate corruption in the judicial system in the Verapaces region.
On November 14th we accompanied the BDH and Bernardo to a worthy reparation hearing for the accusing party. The judge went beyond the complaint’s request for compensation and ordered Bernardo to pay the sum of Q105,676.52.
On November 16th we accompanied the BDH to Cobán for a hearing of official delivery of the verdict convicting Bernardo who was not present because he was not transferred from prison to court that day, for security reasons according to the judge.