First suspended on September 21 and reprogrammed for October 3, the hearing for the intermediate phase of the case against retired general Héctor Mario López Fuentes, accused of intellectual authorship of a genocide against the Maya Ixil People, as well as crimes against humanity and forced disappearance, was suspended once more pending the verification of the health of the defendant.
A brief article published in the Prensa Libre on September 30 indicated that the accused would be absent during the audience as the National Institute of Forensic Science of Guatemala (INACIF) had informed the court responsible for hearing high-risk cases that the former head of the Army Chief of Staff was in delicate health. When asked at the beginning of the hearing on October 3 whether he was authorized to represent his client in his absence, the legal defense of López Fuentes replied that the accused was not in sufficiently good health physically or mentally to be capable of delegating his lawyer the responsibility of representing him before the court. The prosecution proposed the judge personally verify the health of the accused, as she is authorized to do by law. The judge acceded and, having programmed a visit to López Fuentes where he remains in the Military Hospital, suspended the hearing.
|Judge Carol Patricia Flores converses with the defense lawyer (left) and lawyers of the accusing party (right).|