In 1986, Victor Hugo Soto Diéguez joined the Technical Investigations Department (DIT) of the former Guatemalan police. He then joined the Brigade on Special Instigations on Narcotics Trafficking, known under its Spanish acronym BIEN.
In 1997, following the Peace Agreements signed in 1996 between the Government and the guerrilla, the Guatemalan police was reorganized and renamed the National Civil Police (PNC).
In 2002, Soto Diéguez became Chief of the Operations of the Criminal Investigations Service, and was then promoted to the position of Chief of the Criminal Investigations Division (known under the acronym DINC).
Soto Diéguez is allegedly involved in three distinct cases:
2005, the Gavilán plan:
On 22 October 2005, 19 prisoners managed to escape from the Detention Center “El Infiernito” (a high security prison located in the periphery of the city of Guatemala). Soto Diéguez, along with other police officials (such as Erwin Sperisen), is accused of implementing the “Gavilán Plan”, the aim of which was to find the escaped prisoners and to execute them. A reward was promised to anyone who could provide any information on the whereabouts of the fugitives. Nine escapees were found and captured, three of them were executed.
2006, Pavón Prison:
The prison of Pavón was a high security prison located in the periphery of the city of Guatemala. At the time of the events in 2006, the facility was under the control of the detainees, as it had been for several years before. Indeed, the level of corruption was such that no warden patrolled in the prison.
On 25 September 2006, an operation was carried out by Soto Diéguez, Javier Figueroa, Erwin Sperisen as well as other members of the Security Forces in order to regain control of the prison. The operation was called “Zero Tolerance”, or “Pavo Real”.
During the evening of 25 September, more than 3000 agents of the PNC and the army were deployed in the prison. During the operation, seven detainees were executed.
2007: The “El Boquerón” case
On 17 February 2006, three Salvadorian members of Parliament and their driver were found dead in their car in the vicinity of the city of Guatemala. Four policemen of the DINC were accused of having participated to the murders, and put in the high security prison of « El Boquerón ». These four policemen were then killed during their internment.
The 12 December 2006, an agreement establishing the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) was signed between the United Nations and the Guatemalan Government. The CICIG is an independent institution the mandate of which is to assist the Office of the Prosecutor, the national police as well as other organizations to investigate the crimes committed in Guatemala. This institution may also initiate investigations proprio motu (i.e. on its own initiative).
The investigations on the events occurring in the prisons of Infiernito and Pavón led to the indictment of several actors: Erwin Sperisen, Javier Figueroa, Carlos Vielmann as well as Soto Diéguez.
On 21 June 2010, proceedings were initiated for the executions which occurred in the Pavón prison. The case was then transferred to the Court for High Risk Crimes (“Tribunal Primero B de Mayor Riesgo”). On 10 October 2010, the Court (constituted of three judges) joined the case to that of the three deaths of the Infiernito Prison.