On Monday, July 14th 2003 Nicaragua’s Supreme Court of Justice (SCJ) transferred Judge Julio Acuña Cambronero (former Penal Judge of the Bluefields District) to Rio San Juan.

Judge Acuña acquitted Peter Martinez and Peter Tsokos from murder charges without any investigation, on May 13th 2002. Martinez and Tsokos have been charged for arranging Francisco Garcia Valle’s murder.

On May 15th 2002, based on Judge Acuña’s acquitting, Tsokos and Martinez performed a writ of attachment on the Garcia-Acosta home for the sum of US$ 130,000.00.  Tsokos and Martinez alleged damage restitutions derived from murder charges pressed by Dr. Maria Luisa Acosta in Garcia’s case.

Garcia was brutally bound, tied, and murdered in his Bluefields residence on April 8th 2002 by three unknown assailants who fled. Garcia’s wife (Maria Luisa Acosta, JD, Coordinator of the Center for Legal Assistance for Indigenous Peoples, CALPI) had at the time suit Tsokos and Martinez in land litigations; she represented the ethnic community of Monkey Point and the Rama People.

After being accused of Garcia’s murder, Martinez accused Acosta of covering her husband’s murderers. Martinez provided no evidence. Judge Acuña immediately and illegally, changed Acosta’s legal status from victim to defendant based solely on Martinez’ word.

Due to Judge Acuña’s irregular behavior Acosta filed a complaint before the SCJ’s Commission for Disciplinary Regime (CDR). On May 7th the CDR summoned Judge Acuña but gave no resolution.

Although Judge Acuña exonerated Acosta of all charges, he denied Silvio Lacayo Ortiz (Acosta’s attorney) two incidents of nullity and two appeals on the acquittal of Tsokos and Martinez.

The Bluefields District Attorney categorized Judge Acuña’s actions to be “SUPREMELY IRREGULAR” and to have the “CLEAR INTENTION TO DENY THE RIGHT TO AN APPEAL AT ALL COSTS (for Acosta)”

Moreover, in the first week of October 2002, Judge Acuña threatened to incarcerate an Officer of the National Police, because the Officer insisted in presenting evidence to the Court. The evidence consisted of a Police Crime Lab report concluding that a .25 caliber, series #332358 weapon, registered under Martinez’ name, was the one used to murder Garcia, and a letter from the Master Security company proving that Ivan Argüello Rivera (an identified assailant, being processed for Garcia’s murder) was Tsokos bodyguard/chauffer. Because of these new irregularities, Dr. Acosta filed a second complaint before the CDR. This time Judge Acuña was not summoned.

However, on March 14th 2003 the SCJ’s CDR summoned Judge Acuña. Dr. Rafael Solis Magistrate President of the CDR stated that the Ministry of Foreign Relations solicited the hearing because the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (ICHR), had requested information on the latest developments in the case of Francisco Garcia Valle’s murder.

And now, Judge Acuña is simply being transferred from Bluefields to Rio San Juan. This action reminds many Nicaraguans of the unfortunate times of Somoza’s National Guard, when officials accused of crimes were merely transferred.

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