The Garcia Valle Case Before the Bluefields Tribunal

 Attorney Silvio Lacayo introduced an Action of Nullity in a court case for the murder of former President of the Bluefields Chamber of Commerce, Francisco Garcia Valle. Ivan Argüello Rivera (28), AKA “El Pelon”, fugitive of justice and Gilberto Ochoa (21), AKA “Punche” are accused of being hitmen in Garcia’s murder.

 Judge Julio Acuña (former Penal Judge for the Bluefields District) gave Peter Tsokos and Peter Martinez (Tsokos’ lawyer) definite absolutions. Maria Luisa Acosta, Coordinator of the Center for Legal Assistance to Indigenous Peoples, was suing Tsokos at the time of the murder. The litigations were for land tenure; Acosta was the legal representative for many local indigenous communities. When Garcia was murdered Acosta denounced that the criminal attempt was directed by Tsokos and Martinez towards her. Garcia was Acosta’s husband.

Garcia was murdered in his Bluefields home, on April 8th 2002. The following few days progressed in rushed and questioned circumstances that ended with Judge Acuña fully acquitting Tsokos and Martinez from charges presented by Acosta.
Before Judge Acuña acquitted Tsokos and Martinez, Acosta had already filed a complaint before the Commission for
Disciplinary Regime (CDR) of the Nicaraguan Supreme Court, under the argument that Judge Acuña was directing the case in partiality thus benefiting Tsokos and Martinez. Lacayo (Acosta’s attorney) had already introduced an Action for Nullity in the proceedings. Despite these actions, Judge Acuña gave fast and complete absolutions to Tsokos and Martinez.

 On October of 2002, The National Police’s Criminal Investigations Direction presented evidence that linked Argüello to Tsokos and proved that the gun used in Garcia’s murder was a Lorcin 25 caliber Series # 332358 registered in Martinez’ name and in his possession. The police report revealed that Argüello was Tsokos’ driver in Managua.

 Judge Acuña consequentially rejected the irrevocable evidence presented by the National Police. He also threatened to incarcerate the Officer who was presenting the report to the court. Acosta filed a second complaint against Judge Acuña before the Supreme Court’s CDR.

 In March, 2003 Judge Anabel Omier, who is now judging this case, rejected a third Action for Nullity, introduced not only by Acosta but also by the Public Ministry. If Judge Omier had not rejected this action Tsokos and Martinez could have been retried.

 Its widely known Bluefields that Martinez walks straight into Judge Omier’s offices whenever he pleases; unlike the rest of people. Judge Omier is a personal friend of Tsokos and Martinez; she not only spends time in their Bluefields homes, she also travels to Managua with her husband and has Tsokos pick them up at the airport.

Judge Omier is the same judge that ruled in favor of Tsokos in the following cases: 1-. The Pearl Cays, filed by the Procurator of the Environment 2-. Punta de Aguila, filed by the communities of Monkey Point and the Rama People and 3-. Martinez Vs. The National Police, this last ruling was made last week.

 Over 60 complaints have been filed against Omier in the Bluefields Tribunal of Appeals. These complaints are only of this year and do not include complaints filed before the CDR in Managua.

 Under these circumstances, it is that Silvio Lacayo introduces this Action for ABSOLUTE, PERPETUAL AND UNSANABLE Nullities that exist in the ongoing criminal hearings for the murder of Francisco Garcia Valle.
 We encourage the Bluefields Tribunal of Appeals to act in a manner that is according to Law and to the Nicaraguan Constitution and to guarantee that finally justice may be made.

For More Information Contact the Center for Legal Assitance to Indigenous Peoples CALPI
Tel/Fax (505) 341-0015 Mobile (505) 853-3285