Panamanian Diplomat’s accused murderer at trial

Yesterday and today, in the Belmopan Supreme Court, the case of 22 year old Wilsner Echeveria who was charged with the 2014 murder of 64 year old Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Stanford, was heard. You might recall the tragic day of November 24 2014, when a farmer coming home from church found the lifeless body of the 64 year old Panamanian diplomat lying next to a creek in the out skirts of Belmopan. His white Hilux  vehicle and personal cellular phone were missing. The next day, police found then 19 year old Wilser Echeveria with the missing phone, while the vehicle was found in a cemetery behind Belmopan. Echeveria was charged for the murder, which he claimed was self-defense due to an attempted sexual assault on him by the diplomat. But did Echeveria really act in self-defense after the Panamanian Diplomat allegedly attempted to have sexual intercourse with him? That was one of the things the Supreme Court sought to determine in today and yesterday’s hearing. This morning, Attorney’s representing Echeveria filed a No Case Submission stating that the prosecution has not been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Echeveria did not act in self-defense. Judge Antoinette Moore, however, decided that the hearing must continue due to factual discrepancies between statements made by Echeveria upon arrest and evidence given by Forensic Officers. Representing Echeveria in court was Attorney Arthur Saldivar who told Plus News more

Attorney Arthur Saldivar

As you know the prosecution has closed its case the defense has also closed its cased so tomorrow we have submission’s being made on behalf of the accused that being what it’s may. What is most important here is that we are in process of seeking justice either side appearing the state and the accused require justice this is one of the cases that I believe we can come to that In a very easy way and in a way that is clear and that it will be easy seen that the process works because as you know of the many facts agreed upon in this matter but as I said that is as far as I would want to take it at this point because we still have that hurdle to cross in relation to the submission that are to be made tomorrow so surprising to say that as a nation we are seeking justice for so many people ,so many people have had situations where they lives have been taken and nothing has really come about cause no one has been made to answer for those killings and homicides that have been taking place in this particular instance at least there is a person answering to it by virtue of that justice can or justice has a chance to be served .

Will the victim’s Diplomatic status be a factor affecting the outcome of this case? That is one of the questions we asked Saldivar today.

Attorney Arthur Saldivar

 I believe we have professional people in our judiciary I have all faith in the judge in this case again let me say this since you’ve asked that question predation of any sort is despicable predation of a man having predatory behavior against a woman forcing without consent to have relations predation of man against man as we have in this particular case is also despicable what is more despicable is when u have a person in power and immunity conducting themselves in a way that would also be reprehensible so in that regard yes, we do have the element of the diplomatic missions in Belize and what are represented in terms of Belize and foreign relationships but that should not play a role and I don’t believe that it will play a role is where the foreign person is the one who conducted himself in a way and survives. Immunity does tend to prejudice the local person in this particular instance it is left for the court to decide and I will not dive into that till after it is all said and done.

The trial continues tomorrow at the Belmopan Supreme Court.

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