September 12, 2017

Cassidy, Johnson Meet With Guatemalan Ambassador on Detained Shreveport Resident

US Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and US Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) met with Manuel Espina, Ambassador of Guatemala, to discuss the case of Zack Wilson of Shreveport, Louisiana. Wilson traveled to Guatemala in March for a mission trip with the Word of God Church and is currently being detained by Guatemalan authorities. When attempting to return to the US after his mission trip was complete, authorities discovered hunting ammunition in Wilson’s bag and placed him under arrest.


Wilson suffers from ulcerative colitis and receives medication for this condition. According to his family it is expensive to ship Mr. Wilson’s medication to him, and he does not have much left from his last prescription.  Also according to his family, the drugs that Mr. Wilson takes are not available in Guatemala.


“As a doctor, I went over his medical condition with the ambassador and explained his urgent medical needs,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Ambassador Espina agreed to make an inquiry into the legal and medical aspects of Mr. Wilson’s case and the interplay between the two. We are doing everything within our power to ensure the well-being of Mr. Wilson and to bring him home while respecting the rule of law in Guatemala.”


“Since Zack Wilson was first detained this spring, I have been working on his behalf to secure swift and appropriate action by the Guatemalan government so he can return home to his family. I am encouraged by our meeting today with the new ambassador, Mr. Espina. He has committed to assist us with this time-sensitive matter as we continue to work through both the U.S. and Guatemalan governments to ensure Zack’s safe return home,” said Rep. Johnson.


Wilson previously petitioned the Guatemalan government to allow his return to the US to receive treatment while he awaits his trial. That motion was denied.


Cassidy, Johnson and Espina had a productive meeting and the Ambassador committed to follow up with an update in a week.