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Aug 18, 2015

Men Accused of Burning Cane Fields Are Acquitted of Arson

Efrain Alpuche

In May, Efrain Alpuche and Saulito Vasquez were arrested by Orange Walk Police and charged for allegedly burning cane fields in San Lorenzo belonging to Belize Sugar Industries Limited. But on Friday, all charges were dropped on the instructions of the office of the D.P.P.  The reason given is a lack of evidence, as a memo sent to police claims that no witness was able to, quote, “identify any of the two accused as being the person or persons who started to burn the cane-field,” end quote. Additionally, the memo claims that no witnesses have been able to identify the vehicle in which the accused were found, as the vehicle which was at the cane field when the fire was set. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the memo claims that a broken side mirror cover which allegedly linked the vehicle to the scene was contaminated and could not be tendered into evidence. With that, the men were free to go. Efrain Alpuche told News Five that he wasn’t given a reason, just told that they were free to go.

 

Efrain Alpuche, Member of Expedition

“As of Friday, last Friday, the case was withdrawn. A memorandum was sent down from the D.P.P.’s office. I do not know what was in it. I think my lawyer would have to query that – telling us that the case was withdrawn. No real reason was given…just saying that the case was withdrawn and all charges were dropped and we were free to go.”

 

Reporter

“Were you given any explanation by anybody at all?”

 

Efrain Alpuche

“No, no! Just the memorandum that came from the D.P.P.  The Magistrate read it and she went along that she was to withdraw the case…but there was no indication as to reasons.”

 

Reporter

“Now you have the option of pressing charges because your life was disrupted by this charge hanging over your head. Have you given any thought to that?”

 

Efrain Alpuche

“I have given it some serious thought. I’d have to go over the files and see who was really libellous and who was really nasty about this thing. I have a couple in mind. For me it was somewhat strenuous but more for my son. He took it hard and he was picked on at school. So people when they shoot their mouths off about stuff, they don’t know the damage they do. For me I can take it, but the kids are the ones that suffer. So I’ll look at it Mike, I’ll look it over and see if I can find a lawyer that is willing, and we’ll see if we can do something to set the record straight.”

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