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Aug 1, 2017

Puzzling over death of Jose Castellanos in Cayo

Jose Castellanos

There is another fatal shooting that is under investigation. Last Thursday in San Ignacio, Jose Castellanos was at a restaurant when he was fatally shot by Nevis Betancourth.  Tonight we speak with the owner of the restaurant, who says that an unsuspecting Castellanos retrieved a machete to defend himself from Betancourth. In the altercation, Betancourth’s hand was almost severed, but he managed to pull out his licensed gun and fired the deadly shot. So was it a case of self-defense or murder? News Five’s Andrea Polanco went looking for answers.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Jose “El Chele” Castellanos was at “Comida Belicena y Latina” restaurant in Santa Elena on Thursday night when he was shot and killed. The thirty-seven-year-old Honduran national spent most of the evening here helping the owner to do some chores. Later that night around eight he was sitting on these chairs when a man – Nevis Betancourth – walked up and fired several shots in this corner of  therestaurant- several of which hit Canales.


Consuelo Canales, Owner, Comida Belicena y Latina

Consuelo Canales

“I heard gun shots before anything – and then I heard Betancourth say, ‘ You with machete and I with a gun’. I didn’t see when Castellanos chopped Betancourth – but when I looked I saw that Betancourth’s hand with the gun had a big chop wound – I think it was to disarm him. The chair is right there broken where the bullet passed – right where he was sitting the bullet passed to the bottom of the chair and from there it started. I just covered my eyes and said ‘ Oh my God’. I went outside and Betancourth showed me the injury on his hand and he still had the gun. There was a pregnant lady here with a little boy who was wandering right around where the shooting was happening. A teenage boy was sitting right where the shots were fired and there was couple here eating – all of them saw what happened.”


So, what triggered that deadly attack on Castellanos? The restaurant owners claims it is because of an incident that allegedly involved Betancourth’s mother that happened earlier that night at the restaurant. She said the woman called her son to ‘deal with’ Castellanos.


Consuelo Canales

“In a while they started to joke a little. Ms Betancourth asked Castellanos for a coke. But before that she took a picture of her legs and she sent it to him – which is a form of bullying. But he didn’t follow it up. And so she told him ‘ if you give me a coke, I will give you a kiss.’ And just like that they were joking. I didn’t see it serious because I was inside there. So that passed and then she started to say that he was forcing himself on her to kiss her. I don’t know if that was true or lie. From there he approached her to say how can you be saying that I am trying to force kiss you? I will not kiss you, miss, you are an old lady. And from that she cussed him out and said I will call my son right now so that he can deal with you.”


Canales says that after that exchange between the woman and Castellanos – everything appeared calm. According to Canales – Castellanos and Betancourth didn’t have any conflict with each other and there was never an argument. As a matter of fact, she says the men didn’t know each other and this was the first time they ever met. So she didn’t expect what happened next. Castellanos would later crawl under the restaurant to get away from Betancourth.


Consuelo Canales, Owner

“She had already called her sonbut I never thought that her son was going to come. I thought it was just idle talk. So, Castellanos was right there laughing watching TV. I saw everything peaceful. Had I known that something terrible was going to happen, I would have called the Police. They don’t know each. When he walked into this place he didn’t know El Chele and neither did El Chele know him. They had never seen each other. He was nice and friendly and had lots of friends here because he was a good person. He came in and askedhis mother’ Who is El Chele?’ and she went over there and showed him who it was.”


And that theory of self-defence for Bethancourth? Canales says not so. It was cold-blooded murder.


Consuelo Canales

“That was an unjust murder that happened. He didn’t deserve that. Police came to get the details. I told them what happened but when I listened to the news it made me unhappy because the story made it sound like everything was in favor of the Bethancourt and that was not right. I don’t think it was self defence because El Chele was not angry and was not doing anything – not even with Bethancourth was he angry because didn’t even know him – there was never any enmity or friendship between them because they never knew each other.”


Andrea Polanco reporting for News Five.

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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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1 Response for “Puzzling over death of Jose Castellanos in Cayo”

  1. Hates Yellow Journalism says:

    Did Nevis Betancourt die or is the headline of this story erroneous?

    I’m reading the story over and over and not seeing any information about the death of Nevis Betancourt.

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