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Feb 3, 2017

Activist Viciously Stabbed to Death in San Pedro

Felix Ayuso

The prime tourism destination San Pedro has lost an outstanding member of the community who was murdered inside his home in the island.  Forty-four year old Felix Ayuso was a well-known and respected advocate for a wide range of issues from culture and the arts to carnival. He was also a businessman and the President of the San Pedro AIDS Commission. While his body was found on Thursday night, there is reason to believe he was stabbed at least thirty-seven times on Wednesday night. The police suspect it is a crime of passion and have two persons in detention for the first murder on the island since the start of the year. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Melanie Paz, Close Friend

“It is huge loss for our community and an unexpected one as you can imagine. San Pedro is definitely mourning today.”

 

David Jenkins

David Jenkins, VP, San Pedro AIDS Commission

“It is kinda hard to put into words what he meant to our organization. He was in fact our organization, I guess. There wasn’t a member that meant more. He was the fuel. He was our ignition. He was everything to this group.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

The murder of forty-three year old Felix Ayuso has rocked the close-knit San Pedro community. The business owner and activist of San Pedro Town was found stabbed to death in his bed upstairs of his home here in the San Juan Area. Sometime around six on Thursday evening, Ayuso’s sister made a call at this wooden home where Ayuso lived alone in the upper flat. She discovered that the door unlocked and walked in to what neighbors say looked like a bloodycrime scene straight out of a horror film. Ayuso was stabbed as many as thirty seven times – primarily in his face and upper body area – including his eyes. There was a cut to his throat – ears and across his nose. The last time anyone heard from Ayuso was sometime on Wednesday. Neighbours say they believe he was killed betweenthat night and early Thursday morning but his body wasn’t discovered until later thatday. Ayuso’s close friend Melanie Paz is still reeling from the news of his killing.

 

Melanie Paz

“I was sitting at my table and a friend of mine was there and he got the call. I am totally devastated. I mean within minutes there was a huge crowd out here because everybody knew him and everybody loved him. I can’t imagine who could possible do this to Felix. He was a giving person and loving. And to our knowledge he didn’t have enemies in that aspect. And honestly, everybody that knows him, we have been contemplating this since last night; who would want to do something so horrible to him and there is no way that we could figure out anybody that would have hated him that much to do him something like this. And that is why we are so in disbelief about the cruelty of it. And you know, nobody deserves this but especially somebody like him, he did not deserve that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you believe, as his close friend, that it is someone close to him that did this to him?”

 

Melanie Paz

“Oh. Yes. It is definitely my belief that it was someone he knew and knew him, for sure. But who? We don’t know.”

 

According to reports from neighbours, there was a disturbance at Ayuso’s apartment on Wednesday night. A neighbor overheard a fight but didn’t think anything of it because there were regular altercation at the apartment. They say that a young man who had visited Ayuso several times before was the last one to be seen going into the upper flat right before the fight started.  San Pedro police have detained two men. They have not recovered a weapon from the scene, but they are looking at angles – but evidence points to Ayuso’s murder as a “crime of passion.”

 

Fitzroy Yearwood

Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood, Media Officer, Belize Police Department

“For stabbing incident it leads more toward a crime of passion. So, we have several angles that we are looking at but we believe that it is a sharp object. I don’t want to be specific because you have various objects that you can sharpen and use as a weapon. Whenever a murder occurs and the police finds out about it hours later it leaves us at a disadvantage because the perpetrator had ample time to leave the island and come to mainland. And then we would have to have that suspect in custody to really question that person to see what was his motive.”

 

And while it is business as usual in the country’s tourism hub – many across the island are mourning. The news of Ayuso’s murder spread like wildfire. He was known to just about everyone in the town. He was a pioneer for many causes as an activist – including the San Pedro AIDS Commission; a creative talent – who is described as a driving force behind of San Pedro’s annual Carnival; business man – he owned this salon on the island and a father who was full of life and love according to his closest friends. The impact of Ayuso’s contributions to San Pedro Town is immeasurable.

 

Melanie Paz

Melanie Paz

“Felix has always been an activist in the community. He was a member of the San Pedro Lions Club for many years and he actually started the San Pedro AIDS Commission, which really didn’t have anything to do with the National AIDS Commission,out here many, many years ago. He got people like myself involved in it to try to raise funds for people who were HIV Positive on the island.”

 

David Jenkins

“We are going to stay on top of the issue and we are going to press and press and make sure that justice is served. But more importantly, what this group is going to focus on is the betterment of this community; helping those inflicted by HIV and AIDS, something that Felix was beyond passionate about. The support that he alone had in this island is second to nothing.”

 

Felix Ayuso

Melanie Paz

“He used to participate even before the AIDS Commission, but especially since he started the AIDS Commission, as part of Carnaval every single year. He won pretty much every single year. His group wrote the songs to address whatever issues we have happening on the island or in the country; in fact the day before his untimely passing he was writing the songs and they found them on his computer at his job; so it’s a huge loss for us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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1 Response for “Activist Viciously Stabbed to Death in San Pedro”

  1. Marie says:

    Wow! What a loss and hideous act. Anyone having the slightest information regarding the crime should contact the police immediately. This person needs to be locked up in solitary confinement until everyone involved is brought to justice. Satan, they will find you!

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