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Sep 27, 2004

Murdered in Cotton Tree, victim?s family seeks revenge

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Tempers seem to be short in Belize these days as incidents which in years gone by might have been settled with a good cussing or at most a fistfight, are now resolved with finality by a gun, knife or machete. Two men lost their lives this weekend, in what are believed to be such scenarios: one in the West and one in the South. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods reports from Cotton Tree Village in Cayo.

Thydis Blancaneaux, Son

?Nobody threatened my pa yet. But me right, I want fire bun pan them who do it and I hope the whole country the hear and all the policemen them. I want fire burn or else dah me wah bun fire.?

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

Thydis Blancaneaux watched in sheer horror as someone gunned down his father just outside the family?s house in Cotton Tree Village. The murder occurred sometime between twelve and twelve fifteen on Sunday morning at the residence of fifty-three year old businessman, Gilroy Blancaneaux.

Thydis Blancaneaux

?All what I see, right, I saw my father get up and went to the door and I get up behind him and I see a next man outside but I didn?t see his face. All I heard was a gun shot and I see my father drop to the ground and I get up and I run outside and I start chasing this man up this way. But when I reached half way I just turn back and I never see nobody else, I didn?t see his face or anything. ?

Blancaneaux says he does not recall hearing anyone calling his father but strongly believes his dad knew who shot him.

Thydis Blancaneaux

?I never hear they say no word, but all I heard my father said, ?It is you.? That is all I heard him say, the when he said it’s you, I hear the gun bust off.?

Police say based on reports they have been receiving, they are looking for three Hispanic men that committed crime. Authorities say before the armed masked men attacked Blancaneaux they apparently held up a family friend that was resting in the yard inside a Suburban SUV. Fifty-four year old Emmanuel Good was tied up; his mouth taped and then robbed of five hundred dollars in cash. However, the case?s lead investigator Sgt. Sinquest Martinez says they do not believe Blancaneaux?s murder is the result of any robbery.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez, Lead Investigator

?I would not say the murder of Mr. Blancaneaux is robbery. It would probably look more of revenge than robbery. Mr. Emanuel Good was robbed; not Mr. Blancaneaux because he was just fatally wounded and the assailants left. The house wasn?t searched or nothing at all. So we need to get that straight on the media.?

Blancaneaux, who was shot at close range, received a bullet wound to his abdomen and died while undergoing treatment at the Western regional Hospital. But who would want to kill Blancaneaux? According to reports last week he had received a threat after he allegedly failed to pay his workers for sometime.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

?Investigation is showing that he had employed different people and it seems as if he was not paying the workers. Investigation reveals that the money had been sent from the U.S. to pay the workers but he used the money otherwise.?

A claim Blancaneaux?s son denied. He said his father had paid the contractor he had hired to do the work and it is the contractor who failed to pay his workers.

Jacqueline Woods

?Is there proof that Mr. Blancaneaux paid the contractor any money?

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

?We don?t? have that in writing. We don?t have a receipt that the contractor had been paid. We have interviewed one contractor and was claiming that he was paid some, but was owed some balance.?

Jacqueline Woods

?How much money are we talking about??

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

?I don?t want to disclose that at this present moment.?

Police says because there appears to have been more than one person involved in the business transaction, they are interviewing all those persons Blancaneaux hired to do work.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

?There are several people who need to be questioned. As I said before, he had several workers working for him and so we need to interview them likewise; who could probably assist us in this investigation.?

But before the police could continue with their investigation, around six that Sunday morning they received word that four persons in a Suburban vehicle went to a house in Ontario Village where they threatened the residents and asked for an individual the group believed was involved in the murder The police managed to catch up with the vehicle and detained Blancaneaux?s brother, son, and two nephews.

Sgt. Sinquest Martinez

?They went to this person?s house and assaulted these persons. We get information the information that Blancaneaux had two weapons and we responded. When we responded we found one weapon, which is a nine millimetre handgun.?

Besides the nine millimetre Glock pistol found inside the vehicle in which the men were travelling, the police also recovered fourteen rounds of ammunition. Blancaneaux says they only wanted revenge.

Thydis Blancaneaux

?Yes, mam; I was reacting to anger and the police man they just grab we and charge we. That?s unnecessary charge they give we.?

Blancaneaux and his friend were charged with four counts including burglary, common assault, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Jacqueline Woods for News Five.

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