According to the authorities, María José Ponce left her home with her daughter Sofía because of domestic problems and traveled to Peru. Social networks allowed to locate them. The location in the Peruvian territory of María José Ponce, 28, and her daughter Lirio Sofía, 4, occurred thanks to social networks, supposedly with the help and knowledge of the relatives of the young mother and the little girl.
This is stated by the National Police and the State Attorney General’s Office, who speak of an agreed meeting. General Víctor Araus, head of the National Directorate of Crimes against Life, Violent Deaths, Disappearances, Extortion and Kidnapping (Dinased), explained that through a publication in a social network was located the woman and the girl. The researchers scheduled the meeting with María José at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 15, in the park of the town of Órganos, 20 kilometers from the resort of Máncora, in northern Peru.
The officer explained that all the investigation and search of María José and her daughter took place with the full knowledge of the family and their legal representatives. He clarified that the meeting was held in a public place, attended by María José and Sofía without any companion.
Prosecutor Edith Arévalo, who is conducting the investigation into the disappearance, said that in the process no evidence has been found for the materialization of a crime. “So far we do not have elements that make us presume that the disappearance can prove the existence of a crime; Regarding the issue of suspects, we investigate an alleged disappearance. ” Similarly, Araus stressed that the motivations of the disappearance will be known when the victim’s version is taken.
“Since July 9, we have located María José in Peru, but it is difficult to find a missing person when she is outside the national territory,” said the prosecutor, who participated in a press conference on Monday along with the head of the Dinased. Contact by social networks Arévalo added that the aforementioned researcher Miguel Egas and the family lawyer, Esteban Cruz, communicated with María José through Messenger.
“The agent told me that the girl was communicating and we immediately established a procedure to find her whereabouts as soon as possible,” prosecutor Arevalo said. Given the certainty of the location of the woman and the girl, on Saturday, July 14, the police agent Egas traveled to Peru and invited the relatives to the meeting.
María José’s mother and family lawyer traveled immediately. “In the northern city of Piura, the person allegedly disappeared was contacted and he agreed to meet in the park of the town of Órganos,” said the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor. Data from relatives and authorities indicated that the arrival of María José, Sofía, her mother and the lawyer was scheduled for the afternoon of Monday, July 16.
The family would arrive by air to the Quito airport. María José Ponce studied Political Science, is a delivery partner and Human Rights and Gender activist. The Ministry of the Interior and the Police informed that 96% of cases of disappearance have been resolved.
The family asks to continue the investigation However, Alejandra Ponce, sister of María José, denies the authorities’ version. “The National Police is trying to minimize things and take credit for everything, when it was the family and civil society that organized us (to find them).” Ponce said that social networks (Facebook Messenger) were an important tool to find the whereabouts of María José. “If we do not say we are dissatisfied, these cases will continue to occur.”
For the relatives, María José and her daughter were victims of a crime and asked the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate some people who had contacted her through Facebook Messenger and would allegedly be involved in the disappearance.
Alejandra Ponce is sure of the existence of networks that contact women through Facebook, to kidnap them. That would be the way in which María José met the alleged plagiarists. “Through social networks these delinquents would operate,” the complainant added.
She called on the Prosecutor’s Office not to close the case because for the complainant, once the version of her sister is taken, the truth will be revealed. He also confirmed that the disappearance is not linked to family problems, as so far estimated by the police authorities and the Office of the Prosecutor.
Alejandra Ponce announced that in the next few days she will request a meeting with the relevant authorities.
Debate in social networks
The disappearance of María José and her daughter caused commotion in the citizenship. Social networks were an important element to find where they were. The users of the network discussed the existence of plagiarism.
22 days were apparently disappeared the woman and the girl. On July 9 they were located.
Controversy in family environment
María José communicated through her Facebook page on Tuesday, July 10, to say that she left home voluntarily. The family rejected that version and confirmed that she was kidnapped. (I)