The trial hearing has begun against the police officer who attempted to transport baby tortoises to Guayaquil


Santa Cruz (Galapagos), April 19, 2021 – On Sunday night, the trial hearing against the police officer involved in a crime against flora and fauna in Galapagos was adjourned by the Criminal Guarantees judge.

Nixon Alejandro P. D. is accused of attempting to send 185 baby tortoises to Guayaquil on March 28, 2021.

The direct procedure hearing began at 9:30 a.m. and concluded with its adjournment at 8:00 p.m. this Sunday, April 18, at the Santa Cruz Judicial Unit; prosecutor Lleislayne Chuncho evaluated the testimony and documentary evidence against the defendant.

Due to the hour and the amount of time that the proceedings had continued, Judge Ramón Abad decided to adjourn the proceedings and reinstate the proceedings next Monday, May 3, beginning at 8:30 am.

The Prosecutor’s Office seeks to determine responsibilities in the failed shipment of 185 baby tortoises (2 to 12 months old) from Galapagos to Guayaquil. Sixteen died in the attempt to remove them from their habitat. The species is of the genus Chelonoidis, a protected species which is included on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)’s red list of threatened species.

On the day of the events, the participation of Nixon Alejandro P. D. was determined through security camera videos at the Seymour de Baltra Airport; using a police patrol car, he transported the species in two suitcases to the airport facilities, leaving the luggage at the air cargo company.

Once the alleged perpetrator had been identified, he was arrested and several raids were carried out – at the home and at the place of work of the defendant, as well as at the airport facilities – in order to gather more evidence and elements for conviction regarding the case.

Legal data

The defendant is tried in a direct procedure hearing – which concentrates all the stages of the process into a single final judgment hearing – according to the provisions of article 660 of the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (COIP).

This type of procedure is applied in crimes whose maximum penalty is up to 5 years.

The crime against wild flora and fauna is outlined in article 247 of the COIP and is punishable by imprisonment of one to three years.

Contact information:
Directorate of Social Communication
Telephone: 3985800 Ext. 173123

Read the original press release from Fiscalía General del Estado Ecuador at

Informing and sharing news on marine life, flora, fauna and conservation in the Galápagos Islands since 2017
© SOS Galápagos, 2021

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