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Apr 7, 2015

3 Structures Torched by Arsonists

There was a string of three arsons across the country over the Easter weekend, the most tragic being the deliberate destruction of a Garifuna spiritual temple in Barranco Village.  Since July 1996, the thatched structure served as an informal gathering place for residents of the remote community and more officially as a ceremonial shrine for the spirits of the ancestors.  In fact, the ‘dabuyeba’ had been designated for an upcoming Dugu ceremony when it went up in flames, along with a nearby kitchen, on Sunday night.  The blaze, it is reported, was set by an individual whom is believed to be mentally challenged.  The structures, valued at a hundred thousand dollars, were the property of the Cayetano family, managed by twin siblings Sebastian and Fabian Cayetano.  Unfortunately, another building was also torched that night.  Sometime before ten o’clock, a team of officers would visit the home of thirty-six-year-old Beatrice Mariano where they also observed that the thatched, wooden and bamboo edifice was engulfed in flames.  Operations manager at the National Fire Service Benisford Matura told us more.

 

Benisford Matura

Benisford Matura, Operations Officer, Belize National Fire Service

“On Sunday, the fifth of April at approximately ten p.m. in the night, the Punta Gorda Branch of the Fire Department got a call of a structure on fire in Barranco Village, Punta Gorda. On arrival there were two separate fires; one was a twenty by thirty wooden structure used as a temple. The owner is Mister Marcelo Cayetano and the other small structure was a bar known as Lovinia’s Cozy Corner. They got into operation and extinguished the fire. The estimated damage for the bar was twenty thousand and the temple and structure that was next to the temple, which was the dwelling house for Mister Cayetano. The estimated damage was at one hundred thousand. This was a true case of arson. The police has already detained someone for this. It is said that the person is not mentally correct.”

 

Collectively, the three buildings were valued at a hundred and twenty thousand dollars, none of which were insured.  Meanwhile it is uncertain whether any charges will be brought against the alleged arsonist.

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