A Guatemalan court issued a 820 years sentence for alleged drug trafficker Marvin Montiel Marin, on Friday.
Marin, alias “El Taquero” is charged with the murder of 15 people including a Nicaraguan and a Dutchman.
The massacre took place on November 8, 2008 in an area of the municipality of Rio Hondo, in the country’s eastern department of Zacapa, when the travellers were shot to death inside the bus they were travelling in from Nicaragua to Guatemala.
Marin was sentenced to 800 years in prison for the death of the foreigners, eight years for conspiracy and another 12 for trafficking and involvement in the drugs trade.
Despite these high sentences, the Guatemalan Criminal Code sets out in Article 44 that those sentenced can only serve a maximum of 50 years in prison. As part of the Court’s ruling it was also ordered that a copy of the judgement was forwarded to Nicaragua and the Netherlands, and that the sentenced cover the court costs.
During proceedings, the prosecution presented evidence that allowed them to establish that the accused intercepted a bus from Nicaragua in which they thought drugs were being transported.
The vehicle was diverted from Barberena, in the department of Santa Rosa, to the department of Zacapa. Upon finding that the bus did not carry the anticipated goods, the band decided to murder the passengers, whose bodies were burned in an estate in Rio Hondo, owned by Montiel Marin.
During the investigation, in which the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) participated, it was established that “Taquero’s” gang maintained criminal relations with drug trafficking groups in Colombia and Central America.
Along with Marín, other mob members were also given hefty prison sentences, including Mynor Aroldo Gutierrez and Luis Alberto Garrido Yuman.
Both were sentenced to a total of 828 years 8 months imprisonment.
Another guilty criminal, Jose Ignacio de Jesus Folgar, received six years imprisonment for the crime of money laundering.
Roberto Rivera Chacón, however, was granted a substitute measure of “controlled freedom” for his help in clarifying this case in which he acted as “effective collaborator”.
Likewise, wife of “El Taquero” Sara Cruz, was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Another mob member, Hector Morales González Stuart, was sentenced to 800 years in prison for the murder of 16 people, and 12 years for conspiracy for the seizure, storage and trafficking of illegal substances; a total of 812 years 8 months.
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