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Jul 10, 2017

Police Win Showdown with Guatemalan Carjackers – 1 Dead, 1 Injured

Two Guatemalan carjackers were shot by police over the weekend; one died on the spot in Calla Creek, Cayo. On Saturday, the robbers lay waited Omar Jimenez and his son and strong-armed their vehicle at gunpoint, but Jimenez would alert family and the police. A team of officers from the Special Patrols Unit set chase and caught up with the robbers where a shootout ensued. Thirty-seven -year-old Erwin Rene Huex was shot during the exchange and fell into the Mopan River and his body was later retrieved. News Five’s Isani Cayetano speaks to Jimenez about the ordeal in the following report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Automotive theft, the Toyota Hilux series being the vehicles of choice, continues unabated in western Belize.  The stealing of these pickup trucks, most often from locations within the Cayo District, and conveyance across the border into neighboring Guatemala, is presumably the work of a ring of thieves operating within the area.  On Saturday afternoon, two armed robbers, both of whom are Guatemalan nationals, made their way on foot into the vicinity of Chaa Creek.  That’s where building contractor Omar Jimenez and his sons were all working on their farm, unbeknownst to them that the bandits were laying in wait for an opportunity to pounce.

 

Voice of: Omar Jimenez, Vehicle Owner

“The two robbers come out from the bush and stopped my son, took them out of the vehicle and stole the truck, took the truck with them.”

 

The vehicle, seen here after it was recovered by authorities, was taken by the duo who then drove onto the Bullet Tree Road which leads to an area along the Belize/Guatemala border.  Their getaway, however, didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

 

Chester Williams

ACP Chester Williams, O.C., Professional Standards Branch

“Mr. Jimenez quickly prompted his father of the incident, who then alerted a relative in the Bullet Tree area and that relative subsequently went and informed the police, who are stationed in Bullet Tree.  Couple minutes after the incident occurred, the relative who lives in Bullet Tree saw the vehicle heading to the Bullet Tree area and he went back to the police station where the police had set up a checkpoint.  The vehicle was then seen coming to the checkpoint and upon reaching the checkpoint it did not stop, it went straight down the Bullet Tree Road.”

 

And that’s when the pursuit began.  The officers teamed up with Jimenez’s relatives and set out after the fleeing thieves.  Along the way, a shootout would ensue between the cops and robbers.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“About two to three miles into the Bullet Tree Road, after you leave the police sub precinct, the vehicle ran into a fence and I believe that they may have lost control of the vehicle and the police in the pursuing vehicle also came to a stop and a pursuit began on foot.  During the pursuit, one of the bandits was firing shots at the police.  This was Ervin Huex who is now deceased.  Police responded by firing shots at the two bandits.  Huex received one gunshot wound to the right chest region.”

 

In an attempt to escape, Huex, along with his accomplice, Marlon Portillo, ran towards the Mopan River.  Police would later retrieve this firearm, along with five live rounds, from inside the stolen vehicle.

 

ACP Chester Williams

“From all indications from the police and what investigation has revealed is that while they were running, Mr. Huex was the one who was firing at the police and police eventually returned fire and he was shot and he later succumbed to his injuries on the scene.  The matter is being investigated by us, looking at the internal aspect of it to see whether or not the force used by the police was justified by law and San Ignacio Police are investigating the criminal aspect of it, dealing with the robbery of the vehicle.”

 

Voice of: Omar Jimenez

“It’s the first time I’m experiencing this situation here.  It’s the first time it’s happening to me and for me it’s something scary.  It’s the first time I’m experiencing this with my kids and never has that happened on my farm, first time.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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