WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.)released the following statement in response to the guilty verdicts handed down against Rene Hofstetter and Mathias Wilbs in the case of Alex Villamayor, a 16-year old U.S. citizen and Marylander who was brutally murdered in Encarnación, Obligado, Paraguay in 2015:

“Alex Villamayor’s murderers have finally been brought to justice thanks to the tireless work of his family, the efforts of Paraguayan judicial officials, and vigilance from the U.S. government. This has been a long and complicated process, but we never stopped working to shine a light on this tragedy and to seek justice. We are hopeful that this decision will bring some peace to the Villamayor family, and we stand with them in remembering Alex and honoring the life he led.”

Since Alex’s murder in 2015, Senators Cardin and Van Hollen have worked extensively with the State Department and Paraguayan officials to provide justice and transparency in the Villamayor case. In February of this year, Senators Van Hollen and Cardin introduced a Senate Resolution commemorating Alex’s life and calling for justice and accountability. Additionally, Van Hollen and Cardin met with the newly-minted U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay Lee McClenny, along with Kim Luk, Villamayor’s aunt, to push for further transparency and a resolution to the case.