Ecuadorian Police
Police officers in Ecuador try to put out a fire started by rioters. Three retired officers are facing charges of crimes against humanity. Reuters

Judge Lucy Blacio of Quito, Ecuador has ordered the arrest of three retired army and police officers in a trial that alleges the three are part of a group of 10 that abducted and tortured people in 1985. The former officers are being brought up on charges of crimes against humanity while another six retired officers have been placed under house arrest. The alleged torture is said to have taken place in 1985 under the government of former president Leon Febres who was in power from 1984-1985. According to reports the victims were members of an illegal government opposition group.

The 10 former officers are accused of abducting and torturing members of the group. The prosecutors in this landmark case for Ecuador wanted all 10 of the accused arrested or placed under house arrest. Judge Blacio granted the request with the exception of one of the accused. The man is an older former army general who is suffering from a serious illness. Three torture victims from the 1985 abductions will testify during the trial next week. The victims say they were abducted by police and members of the military at the request of Febres' controlling government.

According to Reuters, it could take at least a year for a verdict to be reached in this case. The prosecution is still gathering evidence and they expect more to come in within the next three months. Reuters is also reporting that two of the six officers placed under house arrest are living outside of Ecuador. The attorney general in Ecuador released a statement saying the alleged crimes were committed at a military prison just outside of Quito. The three victims were members of the leftist group Alfaro Vive Carajo. They say they were taken to the military prison following their arrests in November of 1985.

The three victims Susan Cajas, Javiere Jarrin and Luis Vaca were all in court for the first hearing in Ecuador's landmark crimes against humanity case. These crimes had only started being investigated in 2007. Prosecutors detailed the nature of the crimes committed against the three victims. "They were tortured, beaten, and submitted to particularly sadistic forms of torture, including electric shocks to their genitals," Mr. Chiriboga said on the victims' behalf.

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