department of Morazán for care, as she had developed tumors in her neck, general pain, exhaustion,
perspiration, and other alarming symptoms. However, she was not given proper treatment, and the attending
physician did not conduct any examination, nor did she take measures to address the risk of death arising from
the illness.
It stated that at the same time her health was deteriorating, the alleged victim became
pregnant without knowing it. It stated that on February 26, 2008, when she was around 18 weeks pregnant,
she suffered a bad fall. It reported that the following day, she thought she was experiencing bad indigestion
that led her to expel several blood masses, among which the fetus was found. Her mother buried them in the
latrine where they had been evacuated.
She stated that the same day, as a result of that emergency, she went to the Hospital San
Francisco Gotera where the attending physician, in violation of her obligation of professional confidentiality,
accused her of having an abortion and reported her to hospital authorities, who issued a report to the Office of
the Public Prosecutor accusing her that same day. It stated that the Police arrived at the medical center on
February 28, 2008, and after harassing her and accusing her of murdering her child, they handcuffed her to the
hospital bed where she was receiving emergency medical care.
It stated that after February 28, 2008, she was held in the Hospital Nacional San Francisco de
Gotera for eight days, after which she was transferred to the jail of the Morazán Police without a full medical
checkup prior to her release, despite the repeated complaints and discomforts expressed by her. There, she
was held for five days, until on March 11, she was transferred to the San Miguel Prison and Pretrial Detention
It added that her arrest was carried out without any warrant issued by a judge. In this regard,
it said the record includes two official documents supposedly drafted on February 28, 2008, in which police
officers state they arrested Manuela "in flagrante delicto" for the crime of homicide, saying they explained the
reasons for her arrest along with her rights and guarantees and assigned her a public defender. It said that the
alleged victim never had such counsel and that the documents are wrong.
It said she was later criminally tried for the crime of aggravated homicide, and on July 31,
2008, she was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison by the Criminal Trial Court of San Francisco
It stated that in the framework of the criminal proceeding, a series of due process violations
were committed. Specifically, it stated that: (i) she was never notified of the charges; (ii) in her first statement,
she did not have a defense attorney; (iii) later, she did have a defense attorney who represented her in several
proceedings, but she only met him on the day of the criminal conviction, and he was negligent, an indication of
this being that he did not appeal the guilty verdict by filing for a cassation remedy, meaning the judgment
became final on August 26, 2008; (iv) she was prevented from submitting evidence including statements from
the alleged victim and her mother indicating that the abortion was a miscarriage; and (v) her guilt was
presumed throughout the process based on a series of gender stereotypes. In this regard, it stated that the
Office of the Public Prosecutor included in the charging document a statement from the officer who arrested
Manuela stating that the dead baby was a well-developed little boy who any woman or mother would have
treated with love. Likewise, a report from the doctor that the Office of the Public Prosecutor added to the
proceedings stated that the alleged victim’s pregnancy was the result of infidelity as evidence that the abortion
was intentional. Also, the police harassed her relatives for having a "criminal, unfaithful, and murderous
daughter." In addition, in the guilty verdict, the Court dismissed the possibility that the fetus could have fallen
into the latrine accidentally while Manuela was evacuating because the maternal instinct is to protect the child.
It said the judgment took into account her “extremely poor education.”
In addition, it stated that the alleged victim did not receive any medical treatment for the
cancer she was suffering until February 2009, when the illness had reached a terminal phase and her health
had severely deteriorated. It stated that she was prescribed sessions of ambulatory chemotherapy, which she
received without the care necessary to endure the side effects with dignity. It stated that she did not receive

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