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Ecuadorian police confirm that the lawyer was strangled to death

News 360 logo News 360 2022-09-22 Daniel Stewart

Police in Ecuador confirmed Thursday that the lawyer María Belén Bernal was strangled to death a day after finding the body of the woman, who has been missing for eleven days.

In this way, police authorities have detailed the cause of Bernal's death, which until now was unknown, as reported by the Ecuadorian newspaper 'El Telegrafo'.

"The autopsy speaks of strangulation and asphyxiation. We know that it happened in the bedroom and from there that derived that he (the suspect of the murder) looked for an alibi to get rid of the guilt, which did not happen because the work of investigation gave these results", has detailed the general commander of the Ecuadorian Police, Fausto Lenin Salinas.

Ecuadorian authorities confirmed on Wednesday the discovery of the body of lawyer María Belén Bernal, who had been missing for eleven days at a police academy in the country's capital, Quito, where she had gone to visit her husband.

"It is with deep pain and indignation that I regret to inform that María Belén has been found," said Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, in a message on his account on the social network Twitter. "Her femicide will not go unpunished and all those responsible will be subjected to the law. My solidarity with her mother Elizabeth and her little son," he added.

Ecuadorian Interior Minister Patricio Carrillo noted that "the police did their job and found María Belén." "I deeply regret her death, a femicide that will not go unpunished. We will find (Bernal's husband, Germán) Cáceres wherever he is and we will deliver him to justice. I ask for forgiveness and offer an apology to Elizabeth Otavalo and her grandson," he stressed.

"The Police of Ecuador, from the ground, will rise from the knees to make a deep transformation in educational and professional matters. With the support of international organizations we will work on the curriculum, with respect for Human Rights and gender approach", promised Carrillo.

On September 17, Lasso ordered the dismissal of the director of the Police High School. Caceres left the building in a vehicle and is the main suspect in the case. Investigators have located Bernal's personal belongings in Caceres' room and are examining, among other hypotheses, whether a crime could have been committed with the participation of several people.

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