San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Murder trial moves forward against alleged mastermind of hit that killed Argentine folk singer

A Guatemalan court Wednesday ordered a criminal trial to proceed against Costa Rican Alejandro Jiménez, aka “El Palidejo” (Paleface), accused of masterminding an attack that killed Argentine folksinger Facundo Cabral in July 2011. A preliminary hearing had been suspended after lawyers for the defendant said Jiménez suffered two heart attacks in prison.

Judge Carol Patricia Flores also allowed the testimony of a protected witness who said Jiménez hired the Guatemalan gunmen who carried out the attack, the daily Siglo XXI reported.

José Benedicto Cerón, who belonged to a group of hit men allegedly hired by Jiménez to kill Nicaraguan businessman Henry Fariñas, said the motive for the attack was a drug debt, and that it was coordinated via text messages. The murder plot allegedly was planned and ordered by Jiménez from locations in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, the witness said.

Jiménez, according to Judge Flores’s ruling, will be charged with murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a crime.

Jiménez was arrested last March in Colombia and extradited to Guatemala.

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