The pressure is on. In Brockton on Monday, United States Senator Scott Brown called on the U.S Department of State and Secretary Hillary Clinton to threaten to eliminate funding to Ecuador, if the country doesn’t turn over an accused killer who has sought refuge there.
Senator Brown said he is shocked that Ecuador has refused to turn over Luis Guaman to Massachusetts to stand trial for murder.
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Guaman, an Ecuadorian national, is wanted for the murders of Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela and her two-year-old son Brian Cuanga Palaguachi. Their bodies were found brutally beaten in a Brockton dumpster in February 2011. Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz says shortly after the murders Guaman fled to Ecuador, where he is being held on other local charges.
On Monday, Senator Brown stood next to Cruz, Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald, Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti, Brockton Police Chief Emanuel Gomes, State Police Detective Scott Warmington, and 1st Assistant District Attorney Frank Middleton at a press conference inside the District Attorne’ys Brockton Office. Cruz says the press conference was held roughly 200 yards from where the bodies of Palaguachi-Cela and her two-year-old son were found.
Brown said the press conference was being held to ratchet up the pressure on the Ecuadorian government, and that its repeated bad acts should not go unpunished–citing the harboring of Guaman, and the expulsion of Ambassador Heather M. Hodges.
In April 2011 - Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that Hodges expressed concern in 2009 over Ecuador’s National Police corruption – which was reportedly exposed by Wikileaks. Ecuador reportedly expelled Hodges from the country after she failed to give the Ecuadorian government a satisfactory explanation of accusations made public during the Wikileaks scandal.