Erwin Sperisen was born on 27 June 1970.
He has dual Swiss and Guatemalan nationality (Swiss origin is from Soleure Canton)
Mr. Sperisen was a Municipal Councillor for Guatemala City in 2003.
On 1 August 2004, he was appointed Head of the National Civilian Police (Policia Nacional Civil – PNC).
He held this position until 20 March 2007 when he was forced to resign following a highly publicised scandal. On 19 February 2007, three Salvadoran Members of Parliament and their chauffeur were found assassinated in their car close to Guatemala City. Four police officers arrested soon afterwards were themselves murdered six days later despite being held in a high security prison!
Mr. Sperisen has been accused of many other incidents, attributed to him whilst responsible for the PNC. Amongst these are the Infiernito and Pavon affairs.
The Infiernito and Pavon Affairs
- The Infiernito prison is a high security prison located on the outskirts of Guatemala City. During the month of October 2009, 19 dangerous prisoners (also referred to as “reos”) escaped from Infiernito prison. Mr. Sperisen, together with other high ranking members of the Guatemalan security apparatus have been indicted of conspiring to set up a plan (entitled the “Gavilan Plan”) aimed at finding and executing the reos who had escaped. A reward was offered for any information leading to the whereabouts of a reo. In implementing the Gavilan Plan, nine reos were captured and seven executed. The way in which the plan was carried out was frequently the same: discovering the whereabouts of a reo, his subsequent arrest and transfer to a new location in order to be executed, then covered up the crime scene to justify the use of force.
- The Pavon prison is a high security prison located on the outskirts of Guatemala City. On 25 September 2006, an operation was carried out to reassert the authority of Mr. Sperisen and his co-accused over this prison, which had been under the control of the prisoners for many years. More than 3000 officers of the PNC, the army and the penitential authorities were mobilised. During this operation, seven reos were discovered, arrested then finally executed. The scene of the crime was subsequently covered up to look as if a confrontation had taken place.