Special groups of the Police arrived in an armored vehicle to the Provincial Court of Pichincha. Four uniformed were located in the access. There were five more policemen on the street. Each gendarme wore bulletproof vest and helmet and carried a rifle. In addition, there were two patrol cars with urban police and also plainclothes armed officers.
Three members of the Special Operations Group (GOE) sheltered a magistrate in the David Romo case, who alleged threats against him. Last week he received a message to his WhatsApp from an unknown number. Now, the judicial complaint lies with the Prosecutor’s Office for the crime of intimidation. In fact, the police deployment took place because the judge is part of the Court that Monday April 8, 2019 should analyze whether or not revokes the innocence of the five accused of the alleged murder of David Romo, a young university student who desecrated the 2013, in Quito.
Therefore, this Monday the magistrate entered the courtroom with a bodyguard. In addition, in that place there were five uniformed of the Order Maintenance Unit. Before the proceeding was installed, Diego Chimbo, a lawyer for one of the defendants, indicated that the judge’s complaint should be included in the file.
But the judicial appointment was suspended because the lawyer of another of the defendants did not arrive. The Court must establish a new date. The judge indicated to this newspaper that she asked the coordinator of the Court to increase the police guard, to prevent the occurrence of an “abnormal event that prevents the unfolding of the hearing.”
After the threat, the case was sent to the Directorate of the Judiciary Council and asked to provide security. Currently, at the national level, 36 magistrates have protection from the public force (1 946 judges work in the country).
The Judiciary knows that judges are frequently exposed to insults, calls and messages to intimidate them and threaten them or their families with harm. In other cases, judicial officials have asked for protection, because strangers chase them to their homes when they leave their work days and have also attempted their lives. In fact, in 2017 the judge who will now know the Romo case received protection for six months.
She recalled yesterday that after mentioning the sentence in another judicial process, the relatives of the defendants insulted him and threw bottles. The police had to take her out the back door and a car chased her home. That’s why he had to change his address and send his son to another school. “It is important that the Judicial Council supports and supports the judges so that they can develop a job that involves risks.”
Another case occurred last year in Guayas. A magistrate was ambushed by a car and two motorcycles, when she left her job. One of the suspects pointed a gun at her, insulted her and then fled. The official was transferred to another Judicial Unit. The judges with protection are in Esmeraldas, Guayas, Manabí, El Oro, Pichincha, Azuay and Galápagos.
In the Amazon there have been no cases. The Judiciary asserts that the largest number of complaints of threats occurs on the Coast. This entity knew four more cases that are currently in process. To request protection, judges must make a request to the Directorate of the Judicial Council, in which they explain how the intimidation occurred.
Then, the entity analyzes the requirement and officiates to the Ministry of the Interior. This State Portfolio carries out a risk analysis and then provides a policeman to provide security. The Regulation on Public Protection Activities (Article 17) establishes that agents will provide security to officials who are at risk due to their work. (I)