Ecuador. Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal murdered. Her husband, a cop, the main suspect and escaped. There are protests in Quito

Ecuador. Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal murdered. Her husband, a cop, the main suspect and escaped. There are protests in Quito
Ecuador. Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal murdered. Her husband, a cop, the main suspect and escaped. There are protests in Quito
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Ecuadorians took to the streets to protest after the death of lawyer Maria Belen Bernal. According to the authorities, she was supposed to be killed by her policeman husband. Meanwhile, the man fled, and the government offered a reward for capturing him. According to the Aldea Foundation in Ecuador, there have been over 200 murders of women based on their gender this year alone. On the same day, there were also protests by trade unionists in Quito, who demanded that the government pay off debts to the state social security system.

Ecuadorians gathered on Wednesday outside the police headquarters in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to express their anger after the death of lawyer Maria Belen Bernal. Officials said the woman entered Quito Police School in the early afternoon of September 11, where her husband worked as an instructor. On Wednesday, the services found her body near the facility – 5 kilometers from her.

City residents, the family and friends of the deceased, as well as organizations defending women’s rights, took to the streets. Maria Belen Bernal’s mother called for justice.

The husband of the murdered man ran away. The manhunt is underway

The woman’s spouse, Lieutenant German Caceres, gave police statements about his wife’s disappearance and fled shortly thereafter. The attorney general’s office said the man was the prime suspect in the murder. A manhunt continues, and the government has offered a reward of $ 20,000 for capturing him.

Caceres was also fired from his job. The head of the police school also lost his post.

Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal from Ecuador was murderedPAP / EPA / Jose Jacome

“Her murder will not go unpunished and all the guilty will be brought to justice,” Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso wrote on Twitter. He also expressed “deep pain and indignation” about the situation and offered his condolences to the victim’s mother and her son.

According to the Aldea Foundation, which monitors crimes in the country, the incidence of feminicide, that is, murder of women based on their gender, is increasing in Ecuador. The Foundation said that 206 women have been murdered since the beginning of 2022.

According to UN figures, 65 out of 100 Ecuadorians have experienced some form of gender-based violence in their lifetime.

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Ecuador plagued by many protests

Demonstrations broke out shortly after the protests led by union leaders earlier that day. They argue that the financial situation of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) has disrupted the provision of health services and put the pension system at risk.

President Lasso has estimated that the government owes IESS about $ 8.4 billion as of 2011. Some say it is much more. “The social security system is not bankrupt, it is mismanaged,” Mesias Tatamuez, one of the union leaders told reporters.

Protests by trade unionists in EcuadorReuters

The Ecuadorian government reached an agreement last week to pay out $ 300 million by December to cover the amounts owed.

The workers’ march was the first since June when indigenous groups protested against the government’s environmental and economic policies. The demonstrations lasted over two weeks and affected the country’s oil industry.

Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Jose Jacome

The article is in Polish

Tags: Ecuador Lawyer Maria Belen Bernal murdered husband cop main suspect escaped protests Quito

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