Julie Webb-Pullman: Spies, Lies and Visa Red Tape
Spies, Lies and Visa Red Tape
The Case of
the Cuban Five and Their Wives
by Julie Webb-Pullman
Wow! The US doesn’t only do it in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, Europe, Asia and North Africa – they practice cruel and inhuman imprisonment right there at home as well!! And despite the daily diet of anti-terrorist rhetoric their mainstream media dishes up as nauseum, for the last eight years there has been only misinformation, Miaminformation, or an iron curtain of silence regarding the treatment of five Cuban anti-terrorist political prisoners in the U.S. and their families.
It’s a pity those sticky-beaks in the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Amnesty International, Nobel Laureates such as Nadine Gordimer, world-renowned intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, and hundreds of British MPs couldn’t stop poking their noses in, and are now demanding the Five’s release from the U.S. prisons in which they are currently held. They’re all whining about the abuses not only of the Five (case summarised below) but also of the rights of their wives and families! And worse still, people all over the world are starting to listen!!!
Wives and Child Prevented From Visiting
In this drawn-out eight-year political-pretending-to-be-a-legal process, which threatens to continue indefinitely, Adriana Pérez O'Connor, has not been allowed to see her husband at all – not once. Despite being granted an entry visa in 2002 she was detained in Houston en route to his prison in California. Though her passport and visa were both in order, she was held at the airport for eleven hours and subjected to interrogations by the immigration service and the F.B.I., without consular or legal assistance or representation. I guess in the circumstances the F.B.I. were trying to help by making a nice family album – they took lots of pictures of her, took her fingerprints, and put them in a file before putting her on a plane straight back to Mexico City, without letting her enter US territory (hmm, is that strictly speaking not US terrortory?) She fared only slightly better than a lot of innocent people of ‘Middle Eastern origin’, still languishing in US prisons merely for entering the country or boarding an airplane....yet she has persisted in requesting a visa to visit her husband ever since, to no avail.
Rene Gonzalez' wife Olga, and their eight year old daughter Ivette, were really given the red carpet treatment, probably because both Rene and Ivette are United States citizens. Olga was deported to Cuba after Rene's arrest, but U.S. authorities refused to let her take her infant daughter with her. Olga was informed that Ivette's travel was 'an independent procedure'. I guess it will come as no surprise to you all that the US is one of only two countries in the world not to have ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child...Ivette was eventually re-united with her mother after being taken to Cuba by her grandmother. Continued U.S. refusal to grant Olga a visa means that neither Olga nor Ivette have been able to visit Rene in the intervening years, and the child has never known her father.
There is no avenue of legal recourse in the U.S. for Perez and Salanueva to appeal the government's denial of their visas – yet these same visas are dished out with reckless abandon to the likes of Pedro Remón, Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo and Guillermo Novo Sampol, some of the most notorious terrorists in the hemisphere! Some lucky terrorists don’t even need them to enter the country - like Posada Carriles, about to be pardoned for his illegal entry to the US rather than extradited to Venezuela to face justice for escaping from prison where he awaited trial for killing all aboard a Cuban airliner he blew up in 1976. Injustice without fear or favour – you bet!!
Breaches of Human Rights
You can always count on Dubbya to go that extra mile - the threshold for breaches of several human rights has not only been reached, but well-surpassed! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the United Nations body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the Inter-American Convention all provide important protections not only for detainees, but also for their families. These instruments acknowledge the right of all persons deprived of their liberty to humane treatment, including the maintenance of regular communication with their families. There are even several precedents in international law (precedents, not presents, George W, so you can’t just give them back if you don’t like them...) In 1983 the Human Rights Committee identified the inability to communicate with family as circumstances in which they considered article 10 of the ICCPR to have been breached. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has indicated that ill-treatment or torture can occur through mental suffering, and in 2000 found the suffering of next of kin to constitute cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
Article 7 of the CRC specifically guarantees every child the right "…to know…his or her parents…". This right has certainly been denied to Ivette, who at eight years of age cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to effectively 'know' her dad, except as face on posters and placards demanding his release.
As Leonard Weinglass said in August 2005, “Amnesty International and now the UN Subgroup on Arbitrary Detentions have both issued rulings on the violations of International Human Rights law by precluding the visits of the wives to see their husbands. It is a clear violation of International Human Rights Law. I also point out that it is a violation of the Bureau of Prison regulations. Federal Prison regulations require that the families be able to visit.”
I am sure George W will be so concerned about these breaches of law and regulations that he will take immediate action – and try to change the relevant laws and regulations, just like he’s doing right now regarding the legality of certain interrogation techniques.
Visas or Bail - or both?
The Five Cuban prisoners, and their wives and
daughter, are clearly being subjected to unjustifiable,
unnecessary and prolonged anguish and suffering. Considering
the lengthy duration of the separations, and their
continuing nature because of the drawn-out appeal process,
the barest minimum being demanded by numerous reputable
solidarity and human rights groups around the world is the
granting of visas to the two wives to enable them to visit
their husbands and Ivette, her father.
Genuine spies genuinely threatening US interests have been either deported, or received prison sentences less than what these anti-terrorists have already served. The minor administrative charges to which they pleaded guilty carry maximum sentences of five years. They have already served eight, under conditions that do not come anywhere near meeting minimal international standards. There can be no justification for keeping the Five imprisoned a moment longer, and there is absolutely no justification for perpetuating the suffering of the children, wives, mothers, families of these political prisoners.
Given the abundant evidence that the men do not, and never did, pose any threat to the U.S., and given the time they have already spent in jail, most go further, demanding the immediate release of all Five on bail, pending the outcome of the judicial process.
As the Elian Gonzalez case demonstrated, when subjected to sufficient international pressure, the U.S. can sometimes act in accordance with internationally accepted norms, despite its historical obsession with opposing Cuba at all costs.
Should the US immigration authorities, the same authorities currently protecting PoCzarda the Terrible, continue to refuse visas to Adriana Pérez Oconor and Olga Salanueva, wives and mothers seeking only to exercise their legitimate and internationally-recognised right to peacefully visit their incarcerated husbands? Should innocent Ivette and her innocent father continue to suffer the cruellest, most inhumane, and most unjustified punishment of all, the theft of the rest of Ivette´s childhood?
The answer to these questions can only be a resounding NO.
Summary of the Case
So who are the "Cuban Five"?
The Five Cubans are Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González, and Fernando González. They were among 14 Cubans sent by their government to Miami in 1995 to infiltrate and monitor Miami-based terrorist groups, with the sole aim of warning of, and frustrating, their planned attacks.
Terrorist attacks by Miami Cuban-American groups against the Republic of Cuba have occurred repeatedly over the course of the last 43 years, and been extensively documented, including by the FBI. These attacks have brought injury and death to thousands of Cuban and U.S. citizens, as well as to the citizens of at least ten other Latin American and European countries. In 1997 alone there were ten bomb attacks in Havana, all at international tourism installations, one of which killed young Italian tourist Fabio Di Celmo.
The architects and perpetrators of these attacks, such as Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, have no qualms in publicly claiming responsibility, with seeming impunity. They hold the dubious distinction of being the first terrorists to use a civilian aircraft as a weapon of terrorism, on 06 October 1976 - by blowing up a Cubana Airlines plane in midflight between Barbados and Cuba, causing the deaths of all 73 people on board. Despite their activities being known to U.S. authorities, and publicising their intention to continue with their violent terrorist acts, these same authorities not only failed to bring them to justice, but actively protected them, first with a pardon for Bosch from Bush Sr, and now by Bush Baby’s refusal to extradite Luis Posada Carriles to face justice for the Barbados bombing.
108 Terrorist Attacks Between 1990 & 2000 - 10 in 1997 alone.
Let’s remember another September 11, that of 1980 which saw the first assassination of a U.N. delegate - Felix Garcia Rodriguez, Cuban Ambassador to the U.N. who was machine-gunned down at traffic lights in New York City. His murderer was another of the of the Cubana Airlines bombers, but he eventually walked free. Between 1990 and 2000 there were 108 similar terrorist attacks, both in Cuba and against its diplomatic corps abroad. Whilst Australia and New Zealand reeled at the Bali bombings, few knew, let alone cared about, the TEN such attacks in 1997 alone on Cuban tourist venues – attacks the like of which the Five were trying to prevent.
Given the ongoing refusal of successive U.S. administrations to bring their own terrorists to account, Cuban authorities were forced to take measures to defend themselves, and U.S. and other world citizens, from further attacks, by infiltrating these terrorist groups and informing the U.S. authorities of their activities.
The Five’s actions, all unarmed, were justified by the Doctrine of Necessity, and therefore excusable in law.
The F.B.I. arrests the wrong people
In July 1998, the Cuban government submitted to the F.B.I a memorandum documenting the terrorist activities of the groups the 14 Cubans had infiltrated, and requested the U.S. authorities to act. The evidence turned over to the FBI included documents, photos, surveillance and other evidence, and concluded that several extreme right-wing organizations based in Miami were becoming desperate at signs that support for the US embargo against Cuba was dwindling, and that Cuba was recovering from the collapse of the Soviet bloc. These groups hoped to provoke a crisis that could be used to mobilize hostility and provoke an attack or invasion by the United States military.
Cuban officials asked the FBI to act before any more blood was shed. They did act, but instead of arresting the Miami terrorists, on whom the FBI had their own extensive files, the 14 Cubans were accused by the United States Justice Department of "conspiracy to gather and deliver defense information to aid a foreign government, that is, the Republic Of Cuba", and of failing to register as agents of a foreign government. Four of the 14 were never apprehended, and five accepted plea bargains and were tried separately.
Extended Periods of Solitary Confinement
The Cuban Five were arrested by the FBI on 12 September 1998, and held in solitary confinement under conditions of restricted communication with their families and court-appointed attorneys. Under U.S. prison regulations, the punishment cells in which they were incarcerated are for prisoners who have committed disciplinary offences within the prison population, and the maximum period of detention in these is 60 days. The Five had had not committed any offences against prison regulations, nevertheless they remained in solitary confinement until their trial on 03 February 2000, that is, for 17 months.
This tactic was to be repeated as their first appeal approached – they were again thrown into the ‘the hole’ despite being model prisoners, both subjecting them to inhuman and degrading treatment, and severely restricting their attorneys’ access, thus disrupting their ability to prepare their appeal. International outrage resulted in their release, but the reality of these conditions is succinctly described in the defence counsel application for an extension of time. This demonstrates only too clearly that the U.S. has at least two, and probably a lot more, of its very own Abu Ghraibs right on its own soil.
What danger did the Five pose to the U.S.?
One worked as a cleaner at a military base at the time. As William Blum wrote in September 2002, "The F.B.I. admitted that they had not penetrated any military bases and the activities at the bases were "never compromised"…The Pentagon added that "there are no indications that they had access to classified information or access to sensitive areas." …in short, the government was admitting that nothing that could be termed "espionage" had been committed". The statement of interest to the Appellate Court by the U.S. Lawyers Guild went further, quoting the evidence of several witnesses from the U.S. military, who all testified that Cuba posed absolutely no threat to the U.S. Even former President Jimmy Carter revealed that he had asked the high level White House and State Department intelligence experts who briefed him before his May 2002 trip to Cuba about any “possible terrorist activities that were supported by Cuba….I asked them specifically on more than one occasion is there any evidence that Cuba has been involved in sharing any information to any other country on Earth that could be used for terrorist purposes. And the answer from our experts on intelligence was no.''
Former Attorney General says U.S. exposed for failing to enforce the law
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark commented, "…the direct practical effect and probably the main intent of the United States was to protect terrorist acts that it supported against Cuba... What seems highly probable is that once they saw how much information was being obtained by Cuba the F.B.I decided to immediately close the operation before the U.S. was exposed for failing to enforce the law and the Neutrality Act which prohibits planning or proceeding with violence against another country and people from U.S. territory."
The refusal of the U.S authorities to act on the information provided to them by the Cuban Five and the Cuban Government about the terrorist activities being planned, financed, and launched from U.S. territory, and their bizarre response in arresting those who provided such information then convicting them for conspiracy to commit espionage, flies in the face of both rationality and justice.
The political nature of the case is undeniable. Richard Klugh, an appeals process expert with the Federal Public Defender's Office in Miami, and a graduate of Harvard University with more than 25 years of experience as a jurist summarised it thus: " ...what we have is the politicization of criminal law, and in this case the criminalization of the political and attempting to bring a political battle before a criminal court."
The initial indictment related to conspiracy, conspiracy to commit espionage, agent of a foreign power without disclosure, and false identity. In May 1999, the prosecution brought in a second charge, that of conspiracy to commit murder, against Gerardo Hernandez Nordelo.
The Trial Venue
Given the climate of hostility towards the accused in Miami, the court-appointed defence attorneys applied to have the trial switched to any other location in the U.S. that offered the minimum guarantee of a fair, impartial trial without outside pressures. Federal Judge Joan Lenard denied the application for a change of venue, without a word of explanation. Her only comment was: "This trial is going to be much more interesting than any TV programme."
Overt pressure was exerted on the jury, and at the time of their final deliberations, the jurors themselves complained to the judge that the licence plates on their cars had been filmed by the media as they drove away from the courthouse. Such intimidating incidents would ordinarily be sufficient cause for the judge to stop the trial. However Judge Lenard took no such action, on that or the many other irregularities that occurred during the trial.
The 12 jurors were selected from a total of 150 interviewees. All potential jurors who expressed an opinion at odds with those of the Miami Cuban-American mafia were disqualified, or so scared of retaliation that they asked to be excused from jury duty. For example, the 02 December 2000 edition of Nuevo Herald article reported: "Fears of a violent reaction by Cuban exiles against a jury that decides to acquit the five men accused of spying for Cuba has caused many potential jurors to ask the judge to excuse them from their civic duty", and quoted one, "Sure, I'm afraid for my safety, if the verdict doesn't suit the Cuban community here."
At the end of a trial that lasted for over six months, the jury asked not a single question, and requested not a single clarification, despite the technical complexity of the various charges, and the grave consequences that would flow from their verdict. Within a few hours, they found all defendants guilty of all charges – despite the government admitting in court papers that it faced an "insurmountable obstacle" in proving its case against Gerardo Hernandez, and proposing to modify its own charge – a proposal which was rejected by the court, and apparently ignored by the jury.
Gerardo Hernandez was
received two life sentences plus 80 months.
Ramon Labanino received life imprisonment.
Rene Gonzalez received 15 years imprisonment.
Fernando Gonzalez received 19 years imprisonment.
Antonio Geurrero received life plus 5 years and 8 months imprisonment.
From the earliest stages, the prosecution was openly consorting with Miami's anti-Cuban mafia, who also control the Miami press. Despite not a single document ever being produced to support their claims, the Miami media 'classified' the trial as involving sensitive information, and having national security implications - claims which were even denied by the evidence of U.S. military personnel. Of particular concern must be the more than 1,400 pages of selected documents delivered by the prosecution to the Miami mafia in pursuit of this dis-information campaign. How legal is that!!
The flagrant violations of due process during the trial include the threatening of witnesses by the prosecution, in the courtroom and before the judge, as well as the controversial use of Classified Information Procedures Act (CIPA) and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to stymie the defence. They include the violation of the basic right to a fair and unbiased trial, and the violation of the sixth amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Their attorneys were refused access to 80% of the evidence brought against them, hindering their ability to mount the defence case. Next add the violation of the Act of State Doctrine, recognised by the U.S. Supreme Court, which establishes the right of nations to defend their airspace and territorial waters. Top it off with the violation of international and U.S. law in the indictment of Gerardo Hernandez, who had no part in the Cuban state's sovereign and legitimate defensive action regarding the shooting down of the aircraft in Cuban airspace in February 1996.
Appeals were lodged on 07 April, and in early May 2003. On 17 November 2003 the defence presented their response to the District Attorney's arguments. The files were then examined by a panel of three judges nominated by the 11th Circuit Court of Atlanta, and a public hearing took place on 10 March 2004, at which the defence attorneys had only 15 minutes to argue the grounds for appeal for the Five defendants ie 3 minutes each.
The Appeals Decision
The defendants´ lawyers had argued that the pervasive community prejudice against Fidel Castro and the Cuban government and its agents, and the publicity surrounding the trial and other community events, combined to create a situation where they were unable to obtain a fair and impartial trial. On 09 September 2005 the three judges unanimously agreed, handing down a decision which needed only address only one of the ten issues raised at the March 2004 appeal hearing, that of change of venue.
The convictions were reversed, their sentences overturned, and the Five were remanded for a new trial on an undetermined date.
As Leonard Weinglass pointed out, beyond finding that the trial violated the fundamental rights of the accused, the Court, for the first time in American jurisprudence, acknowledged evidence produced by the defense at trial revealing that terrorist actions emanating from Florida against Cuba had taken place, even citing in a footnote the role of Mr. Posada Carriles and correctly referring to him as a terrorist.
US Government Counter-appeal
Under orders from Albert Gonzalez, Bush's former counsel and current U.S. Attorney, US Attorney Alex Acosta appealed the panel ruling and asked all 12 judges of the full court to reconsider the matter. To the astonishment of many lawyers following the case, the full 11th Circuit in October agreed to this request, slating a hearing for February 2006. In January the U.S. attorney's office further astonished the legal community by attempting to block national legal groups from filing amicus briefs on behalf of the Five.
The full bench decision was handed down on 08 August 2006, which, with two judges dissenting, affirmed the U.S. District Court's denial of a request for a change of venue and a new trial. One of the dissenting judges, Judge Stanley F. Birch Jr. wrote that "this case is one of those rare, exceptional cases that warrants a change of venue because of pervasive community prejudice making it impossible to empanel an unbiased jury."
At a Press Conference following the handing down of this decision, Bruce Nestor, immediate past president of the National Lawyers Guild, commented, “The decision really gives tremendous power to the government to bring politically motivated prosecutions and to then select a favourable location where community prejudice will favour the government and allow the government to obtain a conviction where the evidence did not support a conviction.”
C. Peter Erlinder, a Professor of Law at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minneapolis, who reputedly felt so strongly about the case that he took time out during a trip to Tanzania as part of a United Nations group addressing local government issues to write his Amicus brief for the Cuban Five's appeals, added that “Although the finding by three judges that the trial was conducted in a "perfect storm" of bias has been formally reversed by a majority of the Court of Appeals, the moral victory has already been won. The Court of Appeals cannot change the fact that the "perfect storm" judicial opinion is now part of history and the world now knows that the Cuban 5 were convicted under conditions that even U.S. federal judges recognize as being fundamentally unfair. The Brief of the NLG informed the Court that reversing the original 93-page opinion [of Aug. 9, 2005] would only deepen the appearance of unfairness before the world.”
The case has now been sent back to the three-judge appeals panel for consideration of the nine remaining issues.
More information on the case can be found on www.antiterroristas.cu
From Leonard Weinglass’ unopposed motion for extension of time to file initial brief:
The Defendant-Appellant, Antonio Guerrero, through undersigned counsel and pursuant to 11th Cir. Rule 31-2, respectfully requests a thirty (30) d ay extension of time in which to file Appellant's initial brief, which is currently due on or before April 7th, 2003. Appellant's unopposed motion is based on the following grounds:
4. My client, Antonio Guerrero, is incarcerated in Florence, Colorado. Counsel visited with him on one occasion in order to introduce himself and become generally familiar with the case. Over the succeeding months, in which several motions, including a motion for a new trial, were litigated in the District Court, counsel corresponded with his client, anticipating a second meeting following the preliminary drafting of the appeal brief and prior to the filing date.
5. That meeting was set for March 19th, 2003. Prior to that meeting taking place, and on March 3rd, 2003, Special Administrative Measures were imposed on Mr. Guerrero pursuant to 28 CFR 501.2, not for any misconduct or wrongdoing on his part (he has been a model prisoner and teacher), but allegedly for reasons of "national security." He was removed from his cell and placed in administrative segregation. Under this designation access to his files and legal correspondence was denied him, as was the opportunity to make or receive telephone call and correspondence, including to his attorney. When counsel finally learned of Mr. Guerrero's status on or about March 10th, counsel was not permitted to speak to his client. Counsel was also informed that no legal mail would be given his client nor would his client be permitted to write him. The remainder of that week counsel made additional efforts to contact Mr. Guerrero to no avail. Counsel's associate also repeatedly attempted to see and speak to Mr. Guerrero without success.
6. Finally, as a result of the co-operative intervention of AUSA Caroline Heck Miller of the United States Attorney's Office in Miami, Florida, I was advised on or about March 14th, 2003, that I and my associate would be able to meet with my Guerrero on the prearranged date of March 19th, 2003. However, he would remain under the same classification, resulting in his continual and total isolation , for reasons of national security that could not be revealed. Mr. Guerrero had previously served his pre-trial and post-trial time in the general population without incident. Immediately prior to the scheduled meeting I was further advised by the prison institution that the meeting would occur under the strictest measures for attorney/client meetings: there would be no contact, no direct communication (limited to a single telephone to be shared by both counsel), no direct passage of documents (through a guard intermediary) and both counsel and client would be locked into a space so small that it could only accommodate one attorney. Spanish- speaking associate counsel had to stand behind the undersigned in what amounted to a slightly enlarged telephone booth. All appeals to the prison authorities to ameliorate these conditions were rejected.
7. Mr. Guerrero, who was never advised that his attorney would be visiting, appeared stunned as he entered the visiting cubicle, shackled in leg irons and handcuffs. These were removed during the visit, but had never previously been applied to him. The corridors had been cleared as he was led to the meeting. Mr. Guerrero sat quietly, apparently non-comprehending, while counsel sought modification of these conditions. Although we sat with him for six hours, the objectives of the meeting could hardly be achieved following Mr. Guerrero's 16 days of isolation, separated from his trial notes and correspondence. A principal objective of the meeting was to review a 35 page handwritten letter from him setting forth a series of questions and answers which, in part, were central to the drafting of the appeal. Moreover, his living conditions, including the screaming of disturbed fellow inmates in the punishment tier, had deprived him of adequate sleep and rest during the preceding two weeks, further eroding his ability to focus on our work. Realizing that, the prison staff offered a second meeting the following day. However, the impending blizzard in Colorado and the threatened closure of the airport left us no choice but to leave.
8. To this day, March 26th, 2003, I have not heard from Mr. Guerrero who remains in isolation and under special restrictions. While AUSA. Miller has been co-operative in attempting to restore him to general population, assuring counsel of her best efforts in that regard, almost daily, counsel has been unable to engage in meaningful attorney/client communications for nearly one month. Counsel cannot responsibly file appellate papers without input and review with his client.
9. Ms. Miller also arranged for counsel to visit with co-defendant Gerardo Hernandez who was joined with Mr. Guerrero in the Count alleging a conspiracy to commit espionage. That visit, as previously arranged, took place in Lompoc, California where Mr. Hernandez was imprisoned. Mr. Hernandez had also been subjected, since February 28, 2003, to Special Administrative Measures, as had all five of the appellants in this case. Undersigned counsel was not Mr. Hernandez' attorney of record and had not previously met with him. However, a full contact visit was permitted, misleading counsel into the belief that the same privileges would attend his visit with his client several days later.
However, the meeting with Mr. Hernandez was scarcely more productive. He had been held for the previous two plus weeks in "The Box," a special punishment cell reserved for those who violate prison regulations while in special housing. "The Box" has no windows. A metal screen mesh across the front blocks any view outside. A sold metal door has a slot for a food tray to be inserted. The cell is lighted 24 hours a day by florescent lights, making it impossible to distinguish day from night. All reading is prohibited and there is no contact with any human being. As a routine precaution Mr. Hernandez' clothes and shoes were taken from him, leaving him in his underwear. Counsel was his the first person to have any meaningful contact with him in more than two weeks. Under such circumstances, the meeting did not serve its intended purpose.
10. Today counsel spoke by telephone with AUSA Carolyn Heck Miller respecting this request for an additional extension of time. She indicated no objection to this application and has authorized me to so represent on behalf of the United States Government.
11. This request is made in good faith and not for purpose of delay. WHEREFORE, Mr. Guerrero respectfully requests that this Court grant him an additional thirty-day extension of time in which to file his initial brief.
Leonard I. Weinglass
Attorney for Appellant Guerrero