by Virginia McCullough 10/5/09

The suspect in the Alvarez killings, Evangelist James “Jimmy” George Hughes is being represented by an experienced, multilingual attorney Rene Sotorrio headquartered in Coral Gables, Florida, according to Riverside Sheriff Detective John M. Powers.  Calls to Mr. Sotorrio's office seeking confirmation of his representation of Hughes were not returned.

Rene Sotorrio’s web site ( outlines his vast experience in civil, criminal, business and international law. Born in Havana, Cuba on November 21, 1952 and possessing a BA from Northwestern University and Georgetown Law School, Attorney Sotorrio has appeared in state and federal district court and is admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. He speaks Spanish and Portuguese and was a teacher/lecturer in Guatemala City, Guatemala in 1990, Santiago de Chile and San Juan de Puerto Rico. His resume indicates this counselor is very familiar with the laws that might affect California’s attempt to extradite Hughes from Florida.

Sotorrio successfully appealed his client’s conviction for the attempted purchase of cocaine involving undercover narcotics officers working for the City of Miami Crime Suppression Unit in July 2008.

In February 2009 his client was Rafael “Marco” Bernabe-Caballero who federal authorities charged with running an escort service that took advantage of immigrant women from Miami to work as prostitutes for johns in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cleveland and Washington, D. C.

However, prior to the Hughes case, Sotorrio’s highest profile client was Venezuelan citizen Pedro Jose Benavidas-Natera in Case No. 1:08-cr-20001-PAS in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida. This link shows the 10 page cover sheet and affidavit detailing the confidential informants, money laundering, planes, and international cocaine transportation arranged through two Florida based companies the U.S. says unwittingly engaged in these activities.

However, there is another side of the story and that involves the politics implemented when the United States seeks to impose its will on Latin American countries not necessarily receptive to US Imperialism. The following link from presents that viewpoint

This last case mirrors some of the political issues that will be addressed in the courtroom and in the media spotlight as the case of Jimmy Hughes winds its way through the courtroom.

Virginia McCullough © 10/5/09