Following the subject of Cutino crime ring and how CICIG put together a case to cover them up in which they used innocent people as scapegoats, we have new evidence to offer. Cutino crime ring dedicates to issuing documents to foreigners. Their members include Mayra Veliz – ex-secretary of public ministry, Raul Morales – ex-minister of international affairs, governors, sub-directors of Migration Office, public officials from RENAP and many other powerful individuals who up to this date enjoy absolute impunity. They were covered up by equally powerful figures, among them Ivan Velasquez – chief of CICIG, Thelma Aldana – ex attorney general of public ministry and Juan Francisco Sandoval – chief of FECI. In case you missed our article in which we detail how Cutino crime ring operates you can find it here:
One of people who was wrongly sentenced in Migration Case is Cristian Mauricio Chacon Aguirre. This young man was a worker of RENAP (National Registry of People). His case is certainly one of the most shocking and unjust that we have ever seen. First he was accused of issuing DPI (national identification document) to a woman from Nicaragua, then he was accused of digitizing our documents, later he was also accused of issuing DPIs to other people. The curious thing here is that despite having the same factual basis, new separate criminal proceedings were started against him with each new accusation. In other words he supposedly digitized numerous documents and he is being judged separately for each document.
In the case where he was accused of issuing DPI to a woman from Nicaragua he was absolved. But then unbelievably with the same factual basis he was sentenced to 8 years in Migration case by tribunal of Yassmin Barrios! Afterwards the same tribunal judged him all over again for digitizing other documents and sentenced him to 5 years more. Then this young man was judged in yet another process for digitizing other documents and sentenced to 8 years more. For some reason he was judged in different tribunals and sentenced for each document separately.
Why we are so sure that he is innocent? It’s very simple. He occupied the lowest post in RENAP – the boy was in charge of bringing books from RENAP archives. He didn’t even have a computer. His only responsibility was to physically bring the right book to a person who asks for it. That’s all. Document issuing is a complicated process which involves dozens of public officials from different institutions. It is impossible that a person who was not even assigned a computer could issue a real authentic governmental document and frankly it’s absurd that he was accused of it in the first place. Taking into account that not a single governmental official who really participated in the process of documents issuing was ever investigated, it’s easy to understand that the whole case against him is cooked.
What happened to Christian Chacon is a human tragedy which was caused by corruption and cruelty of CICIG, FECI and judges. He doesn’t have any means to make his case known and this is probably the reason why prosecutors chose him for a scapegoat.
Cutino crime ring is a massive structure. First their representatives attract foreigners who wish to receive new citizenship. They assure them that the whole process is legal and is authorized by Guatemalan Government. It’s easy to believe in it because the documents are indeed issued in governmental institutions. Governors are involved, Direction of Migration is involved, Ministry of International Affairs is involved… RENAP enters into the picture when authentic documents are presented to them for issuance of DPI which must be authorized by chiefs of RENAP. It’s certainly not a process which can be realized by a single person.
Who was Christian Chacon in this complicated net of traffickers? The answer is simple – no one. His post was the lowest one in RENAP, he was never assigned a computer or a username. His salary was 2000Q (around $250).
Christian Chacon was 20 years old. One day in 2013 police came and took him to prison where he remains up to this date. He alone was blamed for crimes which involve many public officials and while he is imprisoned Cutino crime ring continues to operate. The only “evidence” which was used against him was that someone somewhere created a username using his name and from that username various documents were digitized. It’s important to say that there was authorization from higher authorities to digitize those documents. So even if Christian would have found a computer and somehow would receive a username to digitize those documents it wouldn’t have been a crime. But of course it’s easy to see that he couldn’t have done even that. So how is it possible that he was sentenced 3 times in 3 separate trials with this absurdity for factual basis?!
So now that we’ve seen an overview of the case, let’s go into details. In Guatemala there are numerous offices of RENAP in different locations. The digitizing of those documents was done from office in Zone 9 – RENAP Cortujo – while Christian worked in Zone 11 in storage of RENAP. There is no evidence that he ever visited office in zone 9. His working ours were between 7am and 2pm. Digitizing of data was done at midnight. Strangely there were anomalies entered into work data of RENAP where Christian supposedly came to work in Zone 9 and then the same day left the workplace in Chichicastenango – a different city of Guatemala alltogether which is located around 100km away from the capital. That would only have been possible if a secret tunnel existed between two cities which is obviously absurd.
There were 2 usernames with his name: CCACON and CCACON1. Both were used to digitize data of foreigners for anomalous issuing of documents. It would have been highly problematic for Christian to receive these usernames because according to regulations of RENAP one can only receive a username if he first was assigned a computer and then various forms have to be filled in, signed and given for approval. Christian was never assigned a computer because it was not part of his job and there is no evidence of him filing any forms nor of them being approved. Furthermore, it’s against regulations for anyone to have two usernames.
It was clear that the data was digitized from a different place in a different time from unidentified computer. That’s why Christian was absolved at his first trial and there was no doubt that he will be absolved in other trials as well.
His second trial was in Migration Case where the primary goal of CICIG was to sentence our family at any cost. To do this they needed to sentence other people who supposedly were involved in the process of documents issuing. Let’s remember that there were huge powers behind this persecution: Russian government, CICIG, FECI, prosecutors and judges, Thelma Aldana, Ivan Velasquez, Mayra Veliz and many others. Tribunal of Yassmin Barrios was not interested in finding out the truth not just about us but about all 40 people thrown into this case.
Nor judges nor prosecutors paid any attention to evidence or explanations and everyone was deemed guilty without any juridical logic.
Despite this fact we were paying a lot of attention to details of the case. There was another person accused with very similar circumstances to those of Christian. For his protection we can’t disclose his full name and will be calling him D.S. He also was working in RENAP, his responsibility was to digitize data, he was assigned computer and username. One day he discovered that his username was used to enter data of some foreigners and it was done from a different computer. He presented a report to his chief asking him to check whose data was entered and to erase them from the system as it was obviously an anomalous occurrence. However, his chief didn’t do anything so D.S. reported this anomaly to department of investigations of RENAP. His denouncement was sent to public ministry where it mysteriously disappeared. Then nothing happened. We have to say that in that time, in 2011 director of RENAP was Jorge Adolfo Matheu Fong.
3 years later D.S. was arrested and accused of entering that data which he himself reported twice. In his trial CICIG announced that no denouncement ever existed. With incredible effort D.S’s lawyer Omar Barrios managed to obtain prove of existence of that denouncement which was hidden by prosecutors of public ministry. It could be a huge scandal and Omar Barrios threatened to accuse in criminal court prosecutors which were responsibe for hiding the evidence. To avoid this, tribunal of Yassmin Barrios absolved D.S. but didn’t order to investigate the prosecutors which is an obstruction of justice.
We can see how Christian Chacon and D.S. were both accused and prosecuted for crimes they did not commit. The only difference is that D.S. did have access to a computer and could verify the altered inscription of data which he immediately reported; while Christian never had a computer and didn’t know that his name was used for fraudulent purposes. D.S. was the only worker of RENAP who was absolved thanks to his lawyer who found the hidden denouncement.
Other 11 workers of RENAP, who were sentenced in our case, declare the same: inscription of anomalous data was done using their usernames in time outside of their working hours. During trial technical specialists confirmed that the security system of RENAP was very low and it was easy for any hacker to use usernames of others to inscribe data.
That’s how young people of RENAP were sacrificed. Christian Chacon was accused and judged separately for 5 different inscriptions. He was absolved in first trial but then sentenced in 3 others and there is still one more trial pending.
In total prosecutors are asking for 32 years of prison for an innocent man. They don’t even have evidence to prove he is guilty.
According to our own investigation CICIG and FECI are covering up the real crime ring which generates hundreds of millions of dollars in profit every year. It’s members such as Mayra Veliz are covered up by Ivan Velasquez and Thelma Aldana. What chances do simple workers of RENAP have against powers like general prosecutor?! They are sacrificed as scapegoats so that CICIG can pretend in front of it’s donor countries that they disbanded a powerful crime ring. As you can see, this case is but a smoke screen so that the real crime ring can continue its operations.
Procedure of documentation issuing begins with cedulas (local identification documents). Precisely in those cedulas the data is altered: change of name, change of birth place and of birth date. However, all those cedulas are authentic because they are printed on official government paper in governmental institutions and are signed by governors, sub-directors of Migration Office and other officials. When this data needs to be digitized it comes with those signatures. It’s not a responsibility of simple workers, who type this data into system of RENAP, to investigate if governors and sub-directors put their signatures on altered documents.
Another interesting thing in Migration Case is that all “investigations” were done by CICIG in 2011. They are not in the least bit interested in what happened afterwards. In 2012 the director of RENAP was changed to Rudi Gallardo. He immediately began a war against illegal inscriptions. His investigation gave impressive results. He discovered that there were thousands of anomalous inscriptions of foreigners, many of whom never even visited Guatemala. He touched the root of Cutino crime ring and back then Mayra Veliz and Ivan Velasquez were on peak of power. They acted brutally against Rudi Gallardo. The brave director was falsely accused without any evidence and imprisoned. We investigated his story and dedicated a separate article to it.
Going back to Christian Chacon. After he was sentenced by tribunal of Yassmin Barrios, a new trial began against him, this time in tribunal of Pablo Xitumul de Paz. This is his fourth trial with the same factual basis. Somehow appeared members of Salvatrucha gang with documents which were digitized from CCHACON username. Corrupt prosecutors used this to accuse Christian of connection with Salvatrucha gang. This case has deeper roots. Originally one of workers of RENAP who was responsible for digitizing of data – Brenda Arrecis – testified that she indeed entered data of members of Salvatrucha. She is cousin of one of gang members nicknamed “Conejo”. Brenda was working in office of RENAP in Zone 9. Her arrest resulted from investigations done by Rudy Gallardo. She entered data of at least 15 members of the gang and has publicly accepted her guilt. How then Christian Chacon can be prosecuted for her crimes? There is zero evidence to suggest that he even had knowledge of what Brenda did.
In trial of Christian Chacon presided by tribunal of Xitumul prosecutors inexplicably changed their testimonies. They accused Christian of crime that was accepted years earlier by another person. There was no mentioning of Brenda and no way to prove that Christian was guilty of her crimes. At the very beginning of his trial, newspaper loyal to CICIG – Soy502 – published an article where they announced that Christian is guilty of issuing documents to gang members.
What prosecutors presented against Christian was the following report made by the head of information security of RENAP – Jorge Rafael Valvert Gamboa; it was issued 2 years after Christian stopped working at RENAP.
According to RENAP regulations when someone receives a username and password to be able to enter into RENAP computers he should sign a document stating that this username and password belongs to him. In the report issued 2 years after Christian left RENAP it was stated that someone named F0-DI-02 received username CCHACON. Without any further explanations the prosecutors conclude that this F0-DI-02 is Christian. This is impossible for a number of reasons: he was never assigned a computer, he never signed any document confirming having a username, to sign with a number instead of name is against RENAP regulations. So the only “evidence” against him is this piece of paper signed by Jorge Valvert who is the same official who would have to answer one basic question: if it’s true then why he allowed such an anomaly? But prosecutors didn’t ask him this question and prohibited Christian’s lawyer from asking it.
It’s not a coincidence that Jorge Gamboa was chosen for creation of this “evidence”. Let us explain. He is son of judge Rubi Lucrecia Gamboa Barrera who granted impunity to Thelma Aldana so that she wouldn’t be investigated for her illegal operations. As you remember Thelma Aldana was general prosecutor who covered up Cutino crime ring. We can only assume how Jorge Gamboa was chosen but this connection has probably something to do.
It is evident that there are no original documents signed by Christian Mauricio Chacón and there is no real evidence that he has entered false data into RENAP’s computer systems.
On the contrary, in the trial presided by Xitumul there were testimonies from RENAP officials who stated that no single person, even if they would have access to RENAP system, can enter all the necessary data to issue DPI; many high-level officials from different departments are involved in the process. So it is impossible that one person – a clerk from a storage room of RENAP – can be responsible for issuance of a national document.
Roxana Sosa from Municipal Civil Registry, who was chief of Christian, testified that he didn’t have access to a computer, nor held a position to have one and therefore could not possibly be responsible for anomalous entries. To this declaration in favor of Christian judge Xitumul replied this:
“This declaration does not deserve probative value because it’s evident to other judges that I always try to exonerate one of the accused (referring to Christian)”.
When lawyer of Christian tried to raise the subject of Brenda Chavez who years earlier accepted the crime, his argument was simply dismissed. Brenda was not even included in the process and Xitumul rejected any evidence pointing to her stating that: “she is not part of this process”.
To summarise, the testimony of chief of Christian in his favor didn’t receive probative value but the report signed by Jorge Gamboa, who didn’t ever work at the time of the events occurrence, was accepted.
Despite all the evidence and common sense being in favor of Christian, tribunal of Yassmin Barrios and then of Xitumul sentenced an innocent person. Why he was chosen for a scapegoat? Because with salary of 250$ he didn’t have any resources for a proper defense. He didn’t have anyone who could stand up for him. Basically he was an easy target to sacrifice meanwhile Cutino crime ring could continue its million dollars operations.
Other workers of RENAP who were falsely accused, submitted numerous evidence that their bosses did participate in anomalous documents issuing but that evidence was not accepted by the tribunal; the names of those who did commit the crime were not even recorded. Let’s see some examples. All these people were workers in RENAP registry.
Julio Donis Solaris – submitted a report to his chief that his username was used by someone to enter false data of some foreigners. This was never investigated, the false data was not erased and later FECI falsely accused Julio while burring his report.
Boris Cabrera – reported two officials from RENAP for digitizing false data and two lawyers who participated in the anomalous issuing of documents. These reports were hidden and never investigated. Boris was accused.
Sara Luz Borja Vasquez – together with her colleague reported to her chief that false data was entered into the system using their usernames in hours outside of work. This report was never investigated, the data was not erased and Sara was sentenced to 19 years of prison with maximum penalty.
Jorge Rodas Sargeto – reported that someone created a second username using his name without his authorization. His report was not investigated nor taken into account during trial. He was sentenced to 27 years of prison – a bigger penalty than for murder!
These are but a few examples. And let’s remember Rudy Gallardo – durector of RENAP – who began an extensive investigation into these anomalies. On 20th of January 2015 he filed denouncement against various members of Cutino crime ring including Mayra Veliz (ex-secretary of public ministry). He submitted an enormous amount of strong evidence. Prosecutor Heidy Tamara de Leon was assigned to the case. After studying the evidence she informed general prosecutor Thelma Aldana about the crimes of public officials. Then Thelma Aldana and Mayra Veliz stopped the investigation, falsely accused Rudy Gallardo and imprisoned him. With such powerful patrons Cutino crime ring seems to be legally bulletproof.
Innocent people are imprisoned, their families and children suffering while Cutino crime ring continues with its operations. Our family witnessed first hand all these abuses. Up to this date Thelma Aldana, Ivan Velasquez and Mayra Veliz enjoy impunity and continue to cover up this criminal structure. People like Christian Chacon don’t stand a chance against them. Christian is imprisoned for 8 years now and awaits yet another trial which outcome is easy to predict.
Being witnesses to all this injustice we presented a penal denunciation against judges of tribunals of Yassmin Barrios and Pablo Xitumul and against judge Erica Aifan. They committed illicit acts in order to cover up a powerful crime ring which includes high ranking public officials. These judges violated human rights of many innocent people, obstructed justice and gave impunity to real criminals.
In conclusion we would like to say this:
Corruption is evil. Cruelty and injustice of judges is another evil. But when corruption meets with cruelty and injustice of judges like Barrios, Xitumul and Aifan – its called Judicial Terrorism.
These judges sentenced innocent people to terms of up to 28 years. People who tried to do the right thing and instead of receiving justice their lives were completely destroyed. It doesn’t matter what motivated those judges, they committed the worst of crimes by punishing innocents and protecting criminals. Up to this date all of them continue with their judicial duties, live their lives as if nothing happened, no one tries to investigate them while so many innocent people suffer in prisons.