Chronology of Events

The Wrongful Abduction of William Martinez
based on the false accusations of drug smugglers

William Martinez was a Deputy, the equivalent of a congressman, in El Salvador. As a successful and honest businessman, he had invested in real estate properties and owned a hotel.  He rented his properties out to others, including a beach front property.  A group of men rented that water front property from him as well as speed boats.

The capital of El Salvador is not near the water front, as you see from the map.  William's office in the capital of San Salvador was considerably inland, and about a 2 hour drive over some unpaved roads.  His home was near the hotel in the capital city.  So he was quite occupied with the duties of his office, and attending to the hotel with his wife.  Whatever the men were doing at his waterside property would have been out of his sight and knowledge.  William was just the landlord, and a busy man.  He did not have time to watch everything his tenants were doing.

San Salvador desde el aire
It would take about 2 hours at 45 mph to drive approximately 90 miles from William's home or office in San Salvador to his
Cuatro Vientos (Four Winds) property near Estuary of Jaltapeque by the sea coast, reachable only by undeveloped roads.
A busy public official would rarely have time for such trips, 4 hours round trip, just to keep an eye on his tenants.

Unfortunately, the tenants were drug smugglers.  They were using his boat to make trips towards Colombia in South America to meet a boat and pick up drugs at night, under the cover of darkness.  They would bring them back to the waterfront property.  They would unload the boats on to banana trucks and hide them in various compartments.  Then they would drive the trucks northwards through Guatemala, Mexico, and in to the United States.

The US authorities had arrested a drug smuggler who was evidently trying to think of something he could offer to the authorities in return for leniency and a reduced sentence.  He decided to implicate William Martinez.  As a con artist, Sabas concocted a story whereby he claimed that William was a "leader" of the drug smuggler.  The law enforcement officers believed him. Instead of questioning the motives of a criminal, a man who had everything to gain and nothing to lose by lying,  they focused their attention on an honest and forthright man, elected by the good and religious people of El Salvador.

False Accusations against William Martinez
help get a Drug Smuggler a Reduced Sentence

Sabas receives o
nly 4 years, in return for testifying against William.

William was a successful and self made entrepreneur.  He had plenty of money and assets doing it the honest way.  He had no reason or incentive to get involved with anything shady, especially as a man in the public eye.  His religious orientation and high moral character made him unable to be tempted to do anything like drugs that would make people dependent. William always worked to bring people up, and to improve their minds, health, and self sufficiency.

William Martinez was brought to the US on November 11, 2003, where he has remained as his case is assembled. 

William Martinez's Travel Itinerary, 11/11/2003

11/11 was the "9/11" for William Martinez.  He began the day in San Salvador, thinking he would be selling one of his properties for a good price. He ended the day in another country 3156 miles away in the Washington DC jail.

San Salvador, El Salvador

San Salvador Airport

Fly to Panama
to hopefully sell Hotel

Panama Airport
Greeted by US Agents

Taken by US Agents
in private jet

Stop over in USMC
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Quick stop in
Tallahassee, Florida

Arrive in Washington DC
Dulles Airport

Taken to DC Jail

Check in and exchange suits

This is how he was abducted.

The US authorities apparently did not have enough evidence or the ability to arrest William in El Salvador, so they asked someone to call William and ask him to meet him in Panama, where the US had the ability to arrest someone.  In order to lure him to Panama, the caller said he wanted to discuss a real estate matter, the purchase of his Hotel Royal.   It was a real estate matter, not a drug matter.  William had advertised the hotel as being for sale, on the internet, as it was taking his time away from serving the people of El Salvador.  Running a hotel is a full time job, and William did not have the time.  As a result it was becoming a cash drain.

William had NOT been making money from drugs, otherwise he would have been able to afford his ticket to Panama himself.  Also if he really had the money that the prosecution says he had, he would not have had to sell the hotel at all.  Think about it.  A friend gave him money for the ticket, and another friend lent him $750 for hotel and expenses.  It is documented that William had $650 in cash, and papers concerning the Hotel Royal.

If William was really so involved, why didn't they use a drug deal as a reason?  The answer is that William has no interest in meeting anyone at any time about any drug activities.  The method of their luring William to Panama shows that he is not the type to be involved in drug activities.  Now, if they had asked him to come to Panama for a drug deal, that would be incriminating.  But William Martinez went to Panama to discuss an honest business transaction.

If William was suspected of having a large drug income, and doing money laundering, why would they use the selling of his hotel as bait.  If he had so much money, he would not need to sell his hotel, right?   William's borrowing money to take the flight to Panama to meet a potential buyer of the hotel, invalidates the prosecution's claim.

Upon arriving in Panama, William stepped out of the airplane to a large group of law enforcement officers.  They immediately handcuffed him, and took him to a private jet.  They flew him to Guantanamo Bay Cuba first, to refuel, then on to Tallahassee Florida, then to Virginia, probably Ronald Regan Airport, then to the District of Columbia.  From the airport they took him to the jail under heavy guard.

While all of this was occurring, the family was never aware of exactly what type of situation he was in. For months all they could assume was that he had been kidnapped for ransom. When William finally arrived in Washington, D.C. he was interviewed three times by law enforcement authorities without a lawyer. He was not read his Miranda rights until after the first interview. (This information is also documented on his court papers.)  How can a man who was looking to sell his property for money, and currently can not pay for a private attorney be considered a millionaire and drug dealer?  It doesn't make sense.

It took a long time for him to be formally charged, and was certainly not a "speedy trial" as guaranteed by the Constitution.  The US Attorneys were granted at least 8 continuances by the DC Judges, to give time to gather evidence.   Give anyone enough time, and you can prove almost anything!

Finally, after over 2  years waiting for a trial, it took place in late June 2005.  None of William's family was notified or asked to testify on his behalf.  The cards were all stacked against him.  The US Government, with its billions in resources, flew anyone who was willing to come, from El Salvador for a free, all expenses paid vacation to Washington DC.  Many people from El Salvador dream of becoming US citizens.  What better way to improve your chances than by cooperating with US authorities and help them win a big case.

At the trial, William Martinez was not permitted to testify on his behalf.  No supporting witnesses were invited to the trial.  So he was all alone, without the ability to say anything.  He was dressed in prison garb.  What else was the jury to think?

The Government had many witnesses that they had flown in, some of whom had never met William Martinez.  But under the implied benefits of helping the US Government, many lied to say what would help the authorities who paid for flight, room, and board in the exciting and picturesque city of Washington.  It was a good opportunity for drug smugglers , looking for a way to help their own cases, to help the US Government..

If you have a saint keep silence, with no one to support him, and a dozen or so people claiming all sorts of things about him, you could get a conviction.  And convicting a saint is exactly what they did.

But the spirit of a good man is stronger than any iron gates.  He should be, and will be, a free man again soon.  Truth always triumphs in the end.