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Apr 9, 2020

Guatemalan Fugitive Returned to Melchor to Face Murder Charge

Attorneys headed to court today in the matter of a Guatemalan fugitive. On Wednesday, the Immigration Department surrendered a fugitive to Guatemalan authorities.  Edgar Cortez, who also goes by the name Walter Jerome Rosales Garcia, was wanted for the crime of murder in his home country.  The incident dates back to March twenty-fourth, 2014, when Cortez allegedly took part in the murder of Dimas Raudel Trujillo Barrera in Melchor de Mencos.   Following the incident, Cortez reportedly fled across the border into Belize where he was captured in San Juan Village six years later.  Cortez, who has Belizean documents, was turned over to Guatemalan police, despite retaining the services of attorney Norman Rodriguez.  This morning, after filing a writ of habeas corpus, Rodriguez spoke with the media.


Norman Rodriguez

Norman Rodriguez, Attorney at Law

“I am informed through informal means from the Crown that he is also known as Walter Rosales which I don’t know much about.  I came here today because I had filed an application for habeas corpus in relation to my client’s liberty, trying to get him freed because he was detained on Friday and up to Monday there were certain things that he did not know why he was detained and so on.  So I immediately filed the application and informally I’ve been instructed or advised that he was expelled.  I filed the application and it came up for hearing today, but my understanding is that the Crown is filing an affidavit in response, so I cannot deal with an application or represent my client properly if I don’t get to see the affidavit and take instructions from his common-law wife who lives in San Ignacio.”


Isani Cayetano

“Can you tell us why he was detained and the subsequent reason for his expulsion?”


Norman Rodriguez

“Well you see, I am at a loss here because when I went to Belmopan I spoke to the officer who assisted me in allowing me to see my client and he could not give me any other information other than Interpol has him.  That has been the only information I’ve been able to get from the police.  So even if I say I have gotten informal information as to why he’s detained, it would not be even proper I believe because as his attorney, I am supposed to speak on formal information, official information.  So as far as I know up to this point, I have no idea why he was detained.  I have no idea where he is at this point.”


Isani Cayetano

“What is his status though, is this individual a Belizean?  Is he a national for another country?”


Norman Rodriguez

“When my client was detained, my instructions are that he was detained as a Belizean.  He has a Belizean passport and he further instructed me that he has a Belizean voters ID, a Belizean Social Security [Card] and a Belizean birth paper and that is what I went on.  And so, as far as I am concerned, he’s a Belizean.”

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