PBI-Guatemala has posted:

Last Friday [April 26], #PBI accompanied Famdegua [the Association of Relatives of the Detained-Disappeared of Guatemala] to the hearing of revocation of alternative measures of Jacobo Salán Sánchez and Malfred Pérez Lorenzo, both accused in the #MilitaryDiaryCase, for which they should return to pre-trial detention.

Malfred Pérez Lorenzo’s lawyer did not show up at the hearing, nor did Jacobo Salán Sánchez and his lawyer.

The plaintiffs pointed to a prolonged delay in the case, which is part of a pattern of impunity and malicious litigation.

Finally, the judge decided to reschedule the hearing for 7 May at 9am. He noted that, in case of absence of the lawyers, he would proceed with the abandonment of the defence.

PBI-Guatemala has previously explained:

“Defendants Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez, former Army colonel, and Malfred Orlando Pérez Lorenzo, former member of the disbanded National Police (PN) have been accused of crimes of forced disappearance, murder, attempted murder and crimes against humanity. Judge Rudy Eleazar Bautista Fuentes recognized that these crimes should not be granted alternative measures but accepted the petition anyway, and granted the measures on the basis of the defense’s arguments that pre-trial detention could worsen the health of the defendants. The two will have to pay a bail of Q6000 and present themselves every month at the Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office to sign a registration book. The judge’s decision caused much indignation among the relatives of the detained and disappeared and their lawyers expressed bewilderment.”

Photo: Former Army Colonel Jacobo Esdras Salán Sánchez and former National Police officer Malfred Orlando Pérez Lorenzo.

The Military Diary Case

The Military Diary gives an account of more than 195 victims of state security violence between 1983 and 1985. Those seen as “internal enemies” were disappeared. Of 183, it contains specific files, with details of their capture, the place where they were captured and what happened to each of them afterwards.

The code “300” at the end of entries is understood to mean they were executed.

On May 27, 2021, 11 retired military and former police officers were arrested for the disappearances detailed in Military Diary.

Two of the arrested died without facing trial.

In May 2022 nine of them were sent to trial by Judge Miguel Ángel Gálvez for their alleged participation in kidnappings, disappearances, torture and executions. The Associated Press has reported: “A Guatemalan judge who ordered nine former police and military officers to stand trial for alleged crimes during that country’s civil war, said [on May 11, 2022] that death threats against him had increased since announcing his decision.” Judge Gálvez said: “They send me messages, they call me on the phone, there’s vehicles following; all of that is happening.” For his own safety, he left Guatemala on November 4, 2022.


PBI-Guatemala has been accompanying the #CasoDiarioMilitar court hearing process that began in May-June 2021.

FAMDEGUA was first accompanied by PBI-Guatemala from 1992 until 1999. PBI-Guatemala began accompanying FAMDEGUA again in April 2023. PBI-Guatemala was accompanying the Human Rights Law Firm (BDH) at the previous #CasoDiarioMilitar court hearings.

For more, CBC has reported the stories of three women – Wendy Mendez, Maria Consueleo Pérez, and Annabella Jiménez – who now live in Canada, but who lost loved ones who are listed in the Military Diary. That article can be read here.

Photo: Wendy Mendez holds a photo of her mother who was forcibly disappeared in 1984. Her mother worked for a university newspaper and promoted organized labour.

Published by Brent Patterson on