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Former lieutenant confessed to murdering his wife at the Quito Police School and hiding her body in a hole

Lawyer María Belén Bernal Otavalo was murdered in September 2022 by her husband, then Police Lieutenant Germán Cáceres.
Lawyer María Belén Bernal Otavalo was murdered in September 2022 by her husband, then Police Lieutenant Germán Cáceres.

Former Police Lieutenant German Caceres, confessed to murdering his wife Maria Belen Bernalinside of Quito Police School, on September 11. Cáceres gave an extended version from La Roca, the maximum security prison where he has been since January 3 after being expelled from Colombia, the country where he was captured.

In his statement before his lawyers and those of the family of María Belén Bernal, Cáceres assured that he killed his wife, hid the body for a day in his room at the police station, and then moved the body to Casitagua hill, to 10 minutes from the School, where he dug a hole and hid it. He insisted on having acted aloneaccording to the lawyer Jesus Lopezlegal representative of elizabeth otavalomother of María Belén Bernal.

After rendering his version of what happened that morning, Cáceres accepted the right to silence and avoided answering the lawyers’ questions.

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)
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)

“He said that he, in the middle of a heated discussion with his wife, strangled her after hitting her,” López told the press after the statement. Cáceres hit Bernal and applied a key to kill her. When she verified that he had no vital signs, she hid the body in the room to bury it later.

Cáceres confessed that he acted under the influence of alcohol.

The former lieutenant’s statements occurred a few days after January 15, when the prosecutor’s investigation of the case will end and the hearing will be called for the presentation of evidence. Until that date, López said, he could not reveal more details of Cáceres’s confession, but he assured that in some details “it was untrue.”

For her part, Elizabeth Otavalo, waited outside the jail along with groups of women who support her cause. Upon learning of Cáceres’ statements, Otavalo said that it is not possible that the former lieutenant acted alone and explained that she witnessed when the Police dug up her daughter’s body. The mother assured that she touched Bernal and that, although the discovery occurred 10 days after the murder, the body was not decomposed or had a bad smell, which is why she believes that it was buried in the Casitagua shortly before the discovery, according to what she reported. The universe.

Police found human remains on a hill in Quito.  Then the authorities confirmed the discovery of María Belén Bernal.  (State Attorney General).
Police found human remains on a hill in Quito. Then the authorities confirmed the discovery of María Belén Bernal. (State Attorney General).

María Belén Bernal, a lawyer and mother of a 13-year-old boy, had been married to Cáceres since 2017. On September 11, 2022, she entered the Police School in the north of Quito and was never seen alive again.

After his admission, Bernal was declared missing and Cáceres fled after presenting a first statement in which he assured that the two argued in the car on the way to his home and that Bernal got out of the vehicle and took a taxi. According to Otavalo, Cáceres even told him “don’t believe that I disappeared her.” Since then, the former lieutenant has been on the run and had a red alert from Interpol.

Ten days after the disappearance, Bernal’s body was found on the Casitagua hill. The medico-legal examinations showed that it was strangled.

Elizabeth Otavalo, the mother of María Belén Bernal, has not stopped demanding justice for her daughter.  (Trade).
Elizabeth Otavalo, the mother of María Belén Bernal, has not stopped demanding justice for her daughter. (Trade).

Since the disappearance and after confirming the murder of María Belén Bernal, her mother, Elizabeth Otavalo, together with feminist groups, has not stopped demanding justice and has even described femicide as a “state crime” considering that it happened inside a police installation and that it was perpetrated by an active member of the institution that was in office.

For the moment, in addition to Cáceres, the cadet Joselyn Sanchez She is being held as an alleged accomplice. Sánchez was the only one in prison until the capture of Cáceres. As has been made public, the former lieutenant was courting the cadet. After Cáceres’ statements, the Prosecutor’s Office announced that it will request the release of Sánchez.

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