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May 6, 2015

A Look at Murder Statistics 2015

The first four months of 2015 have been particularly violent with the number of murders exceeding the 2014 homicides. So far, there are fifteen more murders than last year according to our records. Gun violence has hit the city particularly hard with gang warfare responsible for a large number of murders. Tonight, Isani Cayetano revisits the gang violence in the Old capital between January and April.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Since the beginning of the year there has been an unbroken string of homicides, most of them centralized in Belize City.  The callous murder of eighteen-year-old Derrick Romero this morning in Orange Walk brings the unofficial tally to forty-six as of January.  In the Old Capital, a spate of gun violence, which, to an extent, is being attributed to internal squabbling among individual gangs, remains persistent.  We begin in Ghost Town where, on March fourth, Jervis Valencia reportedly opened fire on a group of men who were socializing inside a yard on Mayflower Street.  The barrage would leave thirty-six-year-old Moses Gonguez dead and twenty-three-year-old Triston Gordon injured.

 

Hilberto Romero

Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., C.I.B., Eastern Division [File: March 5th, 2015]

“Valencia pointed a nine millimeter pistol towards…he was ordered to stop and he refused to cooperate. Again the nine millimeter pistol that he had was recovered beside his body that was on the street. It contained an extended magazine with several live rounds of ammunition. The officers were responding to shots being fired in the immediate area. The incident occurred in a small area, the officers heard the shots and they took up positions to see if anyone would come in their direction and if anyone was fleeing from where the shots were heard. We don’t know if it is related, but a couple shots were fired, the police responded and no one was shot.”

 

While Valencia would subsequently be arraigned on a slew of charges in relation to that incident, residents in his stomping grounds would soon thereafter witness yet another execution.  On April thirteenth, forty-year-old Edward Usher, known otherwise as Ghost, was cut down in a hail of gunfire.  Usher’s demise would also be blamed on infighting within the masses of the Ghost Town Crips.

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero File: April 13th, 2015]

“Quick police response led to the detention of Percival Pilgrim eighteen years of a Logwood Street address, who was in the area. Thorough investigation was conducted into that murder and we have now charged Percival Pilgrim for the crime of murder.”

 

In the wake of that event, Mayflower Street has seen an increase in police presence and things have somewhat returned to normal.  Elsewhere in Belize City, another weekend massacre, two weeks later, would claim the lives of a well-known George Street affiliate, as well as a cab driver.  By all accounts, fifty-five-year-old Egbert Hemmans was simply collateral damage in the mid-morning gangland slaying of Mark Medina.

 

Supt. Hilberto Romero [File: April 27th, 2015]

“At this time, we have several persons in custody. We are conducting interviews, we are recording statements. This is an ongoing investigation at this moment and no one has been charged so far. We don’t have any clear motive, but we know that he had been charged before for murder, possession of unlicensed firearm, displaying gang membership and several other crimes and offenses.”

 

These incidents are but a microcosm of what has been going on in the streets of Belize City lately, and while both gangs aren’t at odds with each other, it is apparent that a cleansing is occurring from within.  This theory is further supported by Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie.

 

Allen Whylie

Allen Whylie, Commissioner of Police [File: April 29th, 2015]

“Yes, many of the shootings that we see are gang related in the sense that it appears to us that there are splintering within some of the various groups and the murders that are committed are by, in many causes, members of the same groups targeting each other. It seems to be disharmony and distrust among them. We’ve taken a number of steps to try to neutralize the situation. One of the deficiencies as usual is that we do not get real time information or intelligence to be able to prevent all of these things. But we have reconfigured a number of our patrols, we’ve implemented a number of vehicular checkpoints in all of these affected areas and we are maintaining a twenty-four hours presence on the ground—armed and unarmed police officers.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “A Look at Murder Statistics 2015”

  1. Rod says:

    We are soon going to be no 1 in the world for murders what a useless impotent incompetent pm and gov we have and you duncy belizeans just sit around waiting for you or one of your family members to become the next murder victim wow

  2. Marilyn Z says:

    This convinces me….I am not ever getting off a cruise ship in Belize again. I am surprised they get any tourists there knowing this info.

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