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Oct 20, 2017

Albert Cattouse’s grieving family wonders why they weren’t told of P.M.’s bombshell

Albert Cattouse

On the crime blotter, activist Albert Cattouse was murdered last week in Belize City. Up to now there have been no arrests but his family is preparing to bid their final goodbyes on Saturday. On Wednesday they heard the Prime Minister provide details on what transpired when Cattouse was shot and killed inside his taxi. The family says they have not been given any official information by the police. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The callous, execution-style murder of Albert Cattouse last week in Belize City continues to rock the activism community.  Initially the homicide was thought to be politically motivated, with some going as far as positing that it may have been a hit on the elderly cab driver.  Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in a press conference on Wednesday, dispelled rumors that the shooting death of the seventy-two-year-old was sanctioned by the state.  In fact, he went to great length providing details of the incident as recounted to investigating officers in an official report.

 

Prime Minister Barrow [File: Oct. 18th, 2017]

“What I gather from the police is complete at odds with any notion that this was a political hit.  And I am willing to bet my life that no U.D.P. personality in the leadership of this party would ever do something like that.  I don’t know how much I am allowed to say about what the police have gathered regarding the circumstances, but I don’t see any of the ministers sort of waving me off, so perhaps I can proceed.  It appears the reconstruction the police have been able to come up with, of course to prove what they believe they know is a different thing.  But it seems that somebody caught Mister Cattouse’s taxi.  The fare had him drive to a particular neighborhood where two other persons came into the taxi and then Mister Cattouse was told they needed to go to a particular area.  By then he realized that a gun was evident and the version of that police have been told is that he refused; he said he wasn’t on that.  Obviously, the fear was that these people were going to in fact perform some sort of hit or commit murder or some heinous act and he refused.  And according to the report I saw, he told them they had to get out and stopped his taxi and they exited.  But when they were exiting, one of them shot and killed him.”

 

It’s a chilling narrative on how the cold-blooded act was committed.  Despite those details, police are still not able to make an arrest or crack the case.  Today, we spoke with Cattouse’s grieving niece who is preparing to lay him to rest on Saturday.

 

Bernadette Cattouse Coleman

Bernadette Cattouse-Coleman, Niece of Murder Victim

“We don’t have any updates from the investigating officer.  We were aware of what happened from the press conference that the prime minister did, that’s how we found out what was really going on.  And if he was so sure about what was going on and what transpired between my uncle and the persons in the vehicle that means that somebody is talking and somebody should be arrested.  It’s like an open and shut case.  So, but as to say that we got any correspondence from the officer, no, we heard it on the news.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Was there anything insofar as the account shared by the prime minister that caught your attention as a member of the family, in respect of the details that were shared?”

 

Bernadette Cattouse-Coleman

“We were just caught off-guard, I mean, for us to know along with the world, I would have thought that we would have been the first ones to get such information.  And to me he’s like confident because he said he’s even seen a report, we haven’t even seen any report.  The officer hasn’t even called us.  Now I’m getting ready to lay my uncle to rest on Saturday, so I’m very busy with that, so I said after this we’re going to go to the officer, whoever the investigating officer is and find out what’s going on.  As far as I am concerned, with what the prime minister said, that the guy said to my uncle and my uncle said to the guy, obviously somebody is talking, so somebody should be arrested.”

 

Albert Cattouse, an outspoken member of the group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, was gunned down on Hicatee Street on the night of October twelfth.

 

Isani Cayetano Reporting for News Five.

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