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Scientists and Human Rights in Guatemala: Report of a Delegation
In September 11, 1990, a justice of the peace of the Court of Paz de Turno performed a judicial recognition of the crime of the murder of Myrna Mack.
On the same day, for reasons of jurisdiction, the justice of the peace sent the case to the second criminal justice of the peace of the Second Court of Paz Penal.
On September 14, 1990, the Second Court of Paz Penal sent the case to the Second Court of Primera Instancia de Instrucción.
As a result of procedures outlined in Guatemalan judicial decree no. 67–89, the Second Court of Primera Instancia de Instrucción returned the case to the Second Court of Paz Penal.
On October 31, 1990, for reasons of court vacations, the Second Court of Paz Penal sent the case to the Eleventh Court of Paz Penal.
On November 11, 1990, the case was returned to the Second Court of Primera Instancia de Instrucción Penal under the guidance of Judge Jorge Alejandro Váquez Rodríguez.
In March 1991, Lic. Eduardo Antonio Coromac Ambrosio became the new judge of the Second Court of Instrucción.
For 23 days during July 1991, while Lic. Coromac was on vacation, Judge Lica. María Eugenia Villaseñor Velarde of the First Court of Instrucción oversaw the case. It was during this time that the arrest warrant for Noél de Jesús Beteta Alvarez was issued.
During late July and early August 1991, while Lic. Coromac was still on vacation, substitute Judge Lic. Oligario Labbé oversaw the case.
On September 17, 1991, in response to Helen Mack's petitioning for the withdrawal of Judge Coromac from the case, the judge excused himself from the case. On September 27, 1991, Lica. Carmen Ellguter of the Third Court of Primera Instancia de Instrucción Penal was assigned the case.
Noél Beteta was arrested on November 29, 1991, in Los Angeles, California, deported to Guatemala City on December 4, and charged with Mack's murder.
In early December 1991, Judge Ellguter went on vacation and the case was overseen briefly by Judge Oscar López Lemus of the Sixth Court of Primera Instancia de Instrucción.
THE PREPARATORY OR ''SUMARIO'' PHASE
During the 15 days following the arrest of a suspect, a case is in "sumario," an investigative phase in which the judge is responsible for seeing that all possible pieces of evidence are brought to the court. At the end of the sumario phase, the judge must decide whether sufficient evidence exists to