Luis Guaman, the man charged in connection with the February murder of a Brockton mother and her young son, has been convicted of identity and passport charges in Ecuador, which could land him in jail for up to three years.
But Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said he remains hopeful that Guaman, whom he says fled the United States to Ecuador in the hours following the alleged murder, will be returned to the United States to stand trial.
Guaman is accused of killing 25-year-old Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela and her 2-year-old son Brian Palachuachi, with a sledgehammer on or around February 13, and leaving their beaten bodies in a trash bin behind their Warren Avenue apartment.
Cruz said the United States needs to use diplomatic pressure to get Guaman brought back to the U.S.
“So we can get this guy back here for the purposes of getting justice for this 2-year-old boy and this 25-year-old woman, we’ve been reaching out to our entire congressional delegation,” said Cruz. “All of them together: Senator Brown, Senator Kerry, Congressman Lynch, Congressman McGovern, they’ve all worked with us, and in conjunction with us, trying to get him back here to make sure we can do the right thing to get the just result.”
Ecuador’s constitution forbids sending its citizens abroad to stand trial. Cruz said he has made formal requests with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and United States Attorney General Eric Holder.
“At some point if they make a determination that Ecuador is in material breach of their extradition treaty with us, which I would suggest they would be, as a result of their change to their constitution several years ago, then we need to apply the appropriate pressure to them to make sure that we look at this situation,” said Cruz.
“We provide them with financial resources, we provide them with information and help them with their trade status; I think that’s the pressure that is going to get this guy back here.”