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Nov 7, 2017

Probing Murder of Benque Teenager

Oscar Obando

On Monday night, we reported on the murder of eighteen-year-old Oscar Obando. The teen was shot to the chest and left for dead on a farm between Belize and Guatemala. There are more questions than answers about what Obando was doing in the area and who killed him. So far, police do not have a suspect or motive for the killing.  From what we have gathered, Obando was an all-around respected and well-behaved young man, who really wanted to do well for himself and his family. We spoke with his principal at the Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen where he had been a student for the past four years. News Five’s Andrea Polanco shares that story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Oscar Niles Obando was shot and killed on a farm between the Belize and Guatemala borders. According to reports, Obando allegedly crossed the border sometime over the weekend but from all accounts, no one knows what he went to do. And since the eighteen-year-old left home that day no one saw him again until his body was discovered with a gunshot wound to the chest on Monday morning on a property called Puga Farm in the adjacency zone area. The news of the death of the teenager was a shock to his principal and all those who knew him at Mopan Technical High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen where he graduated from in June of this year. They say he was an easy-going guy at school.


Voice of: Francisco Tun, Principal, Mopan Technical High School

“It was a shock for us. I couldn’t believe it because as a student, Oscar Obando was a very quiet guy at school; in fact, he was very shy, very quiet but he was also very friendly. I did not know him as a troublemaker. It is very unfortunate, especially for a town like Benque which is very quiet and peaceful to have a tragedy of this magnitude. It did shake us to the core.”


The news of Obando’s murder has left the “Mopan Tech” family devastated. Obando struggled to complete his education – but he never gave up and received his high school diploma five months ago: But an unknown gunman took that hope and promise with a bullet.


Voice of: Francisco Tun

“He was an economically disadvantaged student. He requested through his mother some form of assistance and I recall granting him a work scholarship. So, he used to stay after classes and he used to do his duties. I didn’t have any report from his teacher or supervisor that he was not complying with his duties.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, while he wasn’t a privileged student, he definitely wanted to educate himself and do better?”


Voice of: Francisco Tun

“Certainly. Certainly. In fact that he did comply with his dream which was to graduate from high school.”


Principal Tun says he hopes that Obando’s murder is an isolated case; but that it’s risky business going to the adjacency zone where his past student was found dead:


Voice of: Francisco Tun

“It is simply unfortunate that Obando decided to go out in that particular area which is extremely dangerous. Any area in the adjacency zone between Belize and Guatemala is very dangerous. So, I wouldn’t advise anybody to be in those areas especially in the night.”


Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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