BELIZE CITY (AP) — Authorities in Belize have charged a 19-year-old man for the killing of a Panamanian diplomat.
The country's national police force said late Wedesday that Wilsner Echeveria has been charged with the murder of Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa. Echeveria was also charged with theft of a mobile phone belonging to De La Rosa.
De la Rosa was the charge d'affaires at the Panamanian embassy in Belmopan, the capital of Belize.
His body was found late Sunday near a highway on the outskirts of the city with cut wounds on his head and neck.
Echeveria's relatives protested outside the courthouse in Belmopan, claiming he had been defending himself against a sexual attack by De la Rosa.
Monica de Leon, the spokeswoman for Panama's Foreign Affairs Ministry, said Wednesday a three-member team had been sent to Belize to familiarize themselves with the case.
De La Rosa, 64, was a career diplomat who had served in various postings, including in Canada, Bolivia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago and Israel.
Echeveria was transferred from a police holding cell in Belmopan to the country's main prison, the Belize Central Prison at Hattieville village, 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of the capital.