| The Enterprise
BROCKTON — Ten years after prosecutors say he murdered a mother and her 2-year-old son in Brockton, and nearly nine years after being sentenced to serve 25 years in an Ecuadorean prison for the crimes, local prosecutors are still seeking to have the suspect extradited to Massachusetts.
The Plymouth County district attorney’s office said in a statement Wednesday that the International Criminal Police Organization, known as INTERPOL, has reissued what’s known as a red notice — “a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action” — for 50-year-old Luis Guaman.
Plymouth County prosecutors secured an arrest warrant on Feb. 18, 2011, charging Guaman with the murders of Maria Avelina Palaguachi-Cela, 25, and her 2-year-old son, Brian Cuanga Palaguachi.
Their bodies were found five days earlier on Feb. 13, 2011, in a dumpster near their home at 427 Warren Ave. in Brockton. Autopsies determined that the mother and child had both died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and brain.
Prosecutors said Guaman fled from JFK Airport in New York to Ecuador on Feb. 14, just a day after the murder.
“The country of Ecuador refused to return Guaman to the United States for prosecution, citing that its constitution barred extradition of its own citizens,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement.
INTERNATIONAL TRAGEDY: Murders felt from Brockton to Ecuador
“Against DA Cruz’s intense requests,” his office said, Guaman was instead tried in Ecuador and convicted of the bludgeoning killings, but received the maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.
In Massachusetts, Guaman could face life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.
“The horrific details of this case sent shockwaves throughout the Brockton community that reached all the way to residents back in Ecuador,” 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.”
In 2011, state police investigators worked with the FBI to seek and obtain an INTERPOL red notice for Guaman. The district attorney’s office has to revalidate every five years that the arrest warrant is still active and that prosecutors are committed to extraditing and prosecuting Guaman.
The Plymouth County district attorney’s office said it received confirmation this week that Guaman is still on the red notice list.
“Nearly 10 years have passed since the gruesome murder of this young mother and her son,” 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.”
Enterprise senior reporter Cody Shepard can be reached by email at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @cshepard_ENT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Enterprise today.