Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120
BROCKTON – Interpol has re-issued a red notice for a man who murdered his wife and toddler son in Brockton in 2011, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.
On February 13, 2011, the bodies of Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela, 25, and her two year-old son, Brian Cuanga Palaguachi, were found in a dumpster near their residence at 427 Warren Avenue in Brockton. An autopsy determined that both mother and child died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and brain. On February 14, 2011, Luis Guaman (DOB: 05/01/70) fled from JFK Airport in New York on a flight to Ecuador.
On February 18, 2011, investigators sought and obtained an arrest warrant charging Guaman here in Plymouth County with the murders. A copy of the arrest warrant was hand delivered to Ecuadorian embassy officials in Boston. The country of Ecuador refused to return Guaman to the United States for prosecution, citing that its constitution barred extradition of its own citizens. DA Cruz strenuously objected, and called upon then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other national legislators, to demand Ecuador return Guaman here for prosecution. If convicted in Massachusetts, Guaman faced life in prison without the possibility of parole. In Ecuador, he faced 16 to 25 years in prison.
“The horrific details of this case sent shockwaves throughout the Brockton community that reached all the way to residents back in Ecuador,” DA Cruz said. “Our commitment to seeing this case through was never about taking on a country’s legal system or politics. It was about getting justice for this little boy and his mother who were senselessly and brutally murdered.”
Against DA Cruz’s intense requests, in 2012, an Ecuadoran court held a 2-day trial after which Guaman was found guilty and sentenced to serve 25 years in prison.
As part of efforts back in 2011, investigators worked with the FBI to seek and obtain an Interpol Red Notice for Guaman. Every five years, the DA must re-validate that the arrest warrant is still active, and the office is committed to extraditing Guaman. Yesterday, the office received notice from Interpol that Guaman remains on the list.
“Nearly 10 years have passed since the gruesome murder of this young mother and her son,” DA Cruz said. “Our office has not forgotten them and we will continue to work to see that justice is served for Maria and Brian and their family left behind.”