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Jul 3, 2017

Letson Broaster Drowns in swollen Macal at Branch Mouth

Letson Broaster

Thirty-one-year-old Letson Broaster was missing since last Wednesday but over the weekend his body was retrieved from the Macal River, in the area of Branch Mouth in the Cayo District. His seventy-three-year-old mother was at the police station when she was called out to do what any mother would dread. She believes that her son was likely intoxicated when he drowned. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

This lonely finger of land, bounded on either side by the turbid waters of the Mopan and Macal rivers, is a popular meeting place for residents in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.  It is also the location of choice for recreational fishermen who would, on occasion, visit the banks of these snaking waterways to throw their lines.  It is unclear which of these activities thirty-one-year-old Letson Broaster may have been engaged in at the time of his demise.  What his elderly mother can attest to is that her son frequented the area known Branch Mouth.

 

Mirta Broaster

Mirta Broaster, Mother of Deceased

“My son went out the Wednesday evening and he told me, “Mom, I will be back.  I noh wahn tek long, I gwein by Mr. Rice.”  And when I sih ahn di go I neva sih ahn again.”

 

That was until Mirta Broaster was called to identify the badly decomposed body of her youngest son.  After setting out that evening, she did not see Letson for several days, prompting her to file a missing person’s report at the San Ignacio Police Station.

 

Mirta Broaster

“I gaan report that my son missing from the Wednesday evening and the police gaan search da di river and dehn find ahn.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now he was found in the area of Branch Mouth and according to the police report, that your son drowned in the river.  Is this area a location that he frequents?  Does he often go in the Branch Mouth area?”

 

Mirta Broaster

“Yes, he does like go da river.  Yeah.”

 

Despite his love for the place, Letson suffered from alcoholism.  The excessive drinking seemed to have been compounded when one of his legs was amputated a few years ago.  His mother believes that he may have ventured off to Branch Mouth while he was under the influence.

 

Mirta Broaster

“He dah wahn nice person when ih mi sober, but he does like drink.  He does like drink and like ih get, I noh know, because ih get wah bad infection pan ih foot and dehn mi have to cut off ih foot.  Soh ih only mi got one foot.  So from then ih look like he drink more.  Then ih does drink more.” 

 

Isani Cayetano

“Could this have been a situation Ma’am, where he may have been under the influence when he went into that area?”

 

Mirta Broaster

“Yeah.  I feel so.  I feel so.  I got wahn feeling that he mi di drink.”

 

It is unclear what drew Broaster to Branch Mouth that evening, or what convinced him to go swimming in the swollen river.  The water levels have increased significantly since last week when parts of the Cayo District were inundated by flash floods.

 

Isani Cayetano

“I know that over the past several days the river has been swollen, actually both rivers have been swollen because of the heavy rains, the Macal and the Mopan Rivers.  Did you, by any chance, have any conversation with him about going into that are, seeing as though the river is swollen?”

 

Mirta Broaster

“No.  Ih neva tell me that ih mi gwein da river.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Where were you when you got the news that his body had been recovered from the river?”

 

Mirta Broaster

“I mi cyant talk.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“You were at home here?”

 

Mirta Broaster

“No, I mi deh da police station.  I mi deh da police station when dehn give me di report.  Police tell me go to the new bridge, pray before you reach, have faith in God and be strong.  That da weh dehn tell me.  Be strong.  And then di police come and hug me. I seh dat da my son and he seh, “ I cyant tell you if da he, but be strong.”

 

Sadly, this seventy-three-year-old mother’s worst fears were confirmed when she arrived at the location and positively identified the corpse as that of her son.  Due to the advance state of decay, Letson Broaster had to be buried immediately following a post mortem exam which indicated that he died of drowning. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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