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Jun 20, 2017

Angry Santa Familia residents thwarted from confronting accused killers

The chilling murder of Emy Guerra in the west still has the Santa Familia community reeling. The sixteen-year-old girl and her boyfriend Eleazer Bacab were in the village when three men they knew came up to them and attacked them with a knife – killing Guerra and critically injuring Bacab. On Monday residents from Santa Familia were out in San Ignacio waiting for the three villagers to be arraigned, but they weren’t because there was no magistrate. Today, the residents went back, despite the downpour of rains in the west, they waited for hours to see the three men taken before the court. But that didn’t happen because the men had already been remanded. Andrea Polanco was in San Ignacio today and has the full story.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

For a second day in a row, family members, including the mother, siblings and grandmother of murdered teen Emy Guerra, along with about sixty or so residents of Santa Familia, gathered today in front of the San Ignacio Police Station hoping to see the faces of the three men charged for the murder of the sixteen year old. Since 8 this morning, braving the rains, the community of Santa Familia came out to support the grieving family. They were expecting that the men charged for the murder – Steven Manzanero, Reginald Patt and Armando Coleman – would be arraigned today – so they gathered again with signs sending messages of support to the family and a call for “justice” to be served– but the crowd would be denied that opportunity because the men were arraigned in Belmopan on Monday.

 

Kathy Guerra, Mother of Emy Guerra

Kathy Guerra

“They are not here right now. From yesterday they took them to Belmopan and they charged them already and until the 21st of August they will come back to court.  They want to try and do this process as fast as they could, so yesterday they take them to Belmopan and they give them their charge so they are in prison right now in Hattieville. We will be back the 21st of August because this will not stay like this. We will still be here.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Would you have wanted to see their faces?”

 

Kathy Guerra

“Yes. I wanted to see their faces and see how they look; if they are frightened, or if they are happy or just yuh know for what they did.”

 

Ricardo Roches, Cousin of Emy Guerra & Resident of Santa Familia

“This is what the disappointment of the people of the Santa Familia; the community itself, the parents of that child is very disappointed. About ninety percent of the people of Santa Familia work in Spanish Lookout. Today is a working day but we are out here and we are supporting the family. We came together today and we are hoping that justice should be done today.”

 

 

San Ignacio Police said that it is not irregular for the men to be taken to Belmopan to be arraigned. While the family said that they were not informed, senior officers with the San Ignacio Police say that they did notify the family of the decision to have the trio arraigned in the Capital – but it appears that the family didn’t understand the process. The men were taken to Belmopanbecause there wasn’t a magistrate in San Ignacio, as well as the need to get the matter handled swiftly considering an overcrowded holding cell. The three residents of Santa Familia Village charged and remanded for the deadly attack on the young couple are Steven Manzanero, Reginald Patt and Armando Coleman who were each charged with the murder of Emy Guerra; Manzanero was additionally charged with the attempted murder of twenty two year old Eleazer Eliseo Bacab.

 

Kathy Guerra

“I wanted them to tell me but they didn’t tell me; they needed more to know what they would do so they said they find out the judge would be there today so they send them from yesterday.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Are you hopeful that when this goes through the courts, if it goes to trial that these men will be found guilty of the murder of your daughter; and they will get the sentence that is appropriate?”

Kathy Guerra

“I think, yes, because they have the perfect witness that is the bwai. So, I think, I hope that they just do justice and be fair to what they did  – not just come and give them like three years or fifteen years, no, that will not be sufficient for them.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“What do you think is sufficient?”

 

Kathy Guerra

“They deserve life; stay in prison forever because we don’t need those guys out here again.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now you go home today, how do you move on? Can you move on?”

 

Kathy Guerra

“Well, I am trying to be a little bit strong because I haven’t seen her body. For right now, I have to try keep like this for my other kids. I don’t know if I will could live with this. I don’t know how long I could live with this, right, but I will try.”

 

The deadly incident happened on Friday night around eleven. The couple first saw the trio here at the cemetery. The men would follow them again down to the football field where they would unleash a knife attack first on Bacab. He fell unconscious for over an hour after he was stabbed several times; the last thing he heard were his girlfriend’s screams. Thinking Bacab was dead, the men pursued Emy – after getting ahold of her they slashed her throat and to finish her off they drowned her in the nearby Belize River. Her body was recovered the following day on Saturday. Bacab lived to tell the gruesome tale.

 

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab, Stabbing Victim

“He just come right here and stab mi from my back – Steven Manzanero.”

 

Reporter

“This is not something you expected?”

 

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“No. I don’t know why. I know the three of them. They talk to me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“They are your friends?”

 

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“Yeah, so I don’t know why do me that.”

 

Eduardo Bacab, Brother of Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

Eduardo Bacab

“They said that nobody will know what he will do there – it will be just the three of them who know.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“The guy who stabbed him said that?”

 

Eduardo Bacab

“Mhmmm.”

 

Reporter

“So, Steven was like the ringleader?”

Eduardo Bacab

“Yeah and he said nobody will know nothing; that will stay with the three of us.”

Residents say this is perhaps the most brutal crime that has happened in the Village in a very long time and it is going to be tough for the close-knit community to move forward in the same way.The incident has left many in fear for their safety.

 

SherimaPinelo, Sister of Emy Guerra

Sherima Pinelo

“Our village is named Santa Familia – like everybody is a family. Why that happened? And all of us are a family. That can’t happen again. No girl should have to go through the same thing that they did to my little sister.”

 

Ricardo Roches

“It will not be something easy to forget. It will take long. It will be in our heart. It will be in our mind. We are more precautious now in the village.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Do you think what has happened has sent fear through the residents of Santa Familia?”

 

Ricardo Roches

“More than hundred percent. The youths, the young girls are living in fear at this moment; they don’t want to go the shops at six. It is very drastic. Very serious. I hope that this ease off in the future but it hurts. Our own youths from Santa Familia did this to our own youths from there; it is cruel. I can’t believe it up to today.”

 

Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

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4 Responses for “Angry Santa Familia residents thwarted from confronting accused killers”

  1. Belizean pride says:

    why hasn’t media gone to the family of the killers to see what they have to say or interview them also. I would if I would be a journalist because this grieving family needs answers. Also to shame them because every parent should be accounted for their sons and daughters acts. I won’t tolerate my son do to such thing and at least to give a sincere condolence to the grieving family publicly.

  2. Jorge says:

    Waste of time. just a couple years and they`ll be free. they just have to appeal to a higher court. just like those who kill the old man with a crowbar on san pedro. the human rights are on their side. you know.

  3. hopeforbelize says:

    ^^^ Exactly.

  4. Clue says:

    Then, anytime the likes of disgraceful Panthon, Bradley or Arthurs and Sylvester walk up those stairs to defend them and let them walk because of the ineptitude of the police officers, you let them feel a little street justice. I’ve said it before, there’s going to be a time when law-abiding innocent people will start taking the laws into their own hands; and it’s time.

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