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Prosecutor in Ecuador files formal accusations against journalist's killers

On September 25, 2013, the Office of the Public Prosecutor in Guayas presented a formal accusation against five of the six people suspected of involvement in the killing of journalist Fausto Valdiviezo, on April 11, 2013.

After a public hearing at the Judicial Unit of Florida Norte, in Guayaquil, Prosecutor Víctor Altamirano accused Juan Marín (who is currently missing), as the mastermind, while Ingrid Leon was accused as accomplice, Marisol C. and Luis P. were charged for abetting the crime. The Prosecutor did not charge José R., who remained on parole during investigations.

Attorney Julio César Cueva, who is representing Valdiviezo's family, indicated that they are not satisfied with the investigation, since not all the people involved have been accused and investigated.

Attorney Héctor Vanegas, who represents the defendants, requested that the crime is investigated further, while Pedro Buitrón, who represents Jose R., was pleased with the decision of the prosecutor, since “There was no evidence of any link between Valdiviezo and my client”.

The Second Criminal Court's Judge, Sonia Garcia, did not mention the possibility of elevating the decision with the consultation of the Provincial Prosecutor.

In spite of the fact that on June 5 Valdiviezo's mother declared to the Office of the Public Prosecutor that her son feared that Carlos Coello may harm him (he is the manager of a television network currently administered by the State), Coello's name was not even brought up during investigations. Valdiviezo was concerned after a violent attack he suffered the day before he was killed, when unknown men shot at his car.

Also, the statements of Emily Bermeo, Valdiviezo's widow, were not considered. She stated that on the night of the murder six boxes that contained documentation of Valdiviezo's investigations for two years, disappeared. The investigations referred to issues with the administration of the seized TV network TC Television by its current manager, Carlos Coello.

The trial before the court started on September 19, and was suspended on September 25, when the names of the defendants were made public. Nevertheless, Valdiviezo's family, said there is no link between the accused people and Valdiviezo.

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