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Dec 18, 2017

Suspect held as Mark Vasquez, 53, stabbed dead in knife fight

Mark Vasquez

As we head to the end of the year, the murder count keeps going up. The bloodbath started on Friday morning with the murder of Jaime Pelayo in Orange Walk.  That homicide was followed by murders in Independence village in the south, in the capital, Belmopan, and in Belize City. Mark Vasquez, a well known car dealer, was stabbed to death on Marine Parade on Saturday night.  Speculation is rampant about the motive for his murder, but what is confirmed is that another man, Osbaldo Nieto, is under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and is expected to be charged. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A well-known auto trader is dead after being stabbed multiple times during a struggle with another man over the weekend.  Fifty-three-year-old Mark Vasquez was once a staple at the old Belize City Center where he would often have a display of vehicles for sale on the compound.  The dried blood near the sea wall on Marine Parade is where a scuffle between Vasquez and an individual identified as Osbaldo Nieto, turned deadly.


ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Sometime just after eleven p.m., police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they observed one Mark Anthony Vasquez with several apparent stab wounds to the neck and chest area.  He was declared dead on arrival at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.”


It is unclear what precipitated the vicious stabbing.  What is apparent is that both men were injured during the altercation.


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“What police have gathered so far is that just before the incident, sometime around 10:30, he was seen along with another male person having a struggle between the lighthouse and the pier at the Radisson  Hotel.  As a result of that he was found with the stab wounds and transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”


Vasquez was hemorrhaging from wounds he had received and despite an effort to provide emergency medical treatment, he would not survive the ordeal.

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Also we have learned that whilst the police were processing the scene, a male person was observed with injuries to his body and he was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital also, and he is presently being admitted there for those injuries.  His name is Obaldo Nieto and we suspect that he can assist in this investigation at this moment.”


Nothing was taken from the deceased, indicating that the motive for the attack may not have been robbery.


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“So far there is nothing indicating that it was a robbery.  We understand that it was a struggle between two persons.”



“Okay, so the male person who was seen running away, does the description match the one who was also seen struggling with the guy?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo




“Since there was no robbery element, would it be fair to say that the gentlemen were socializing?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well there is nothing that indicates to us at this moment what exactly had transpired between them.  All we know is that there was a struggle between them that further led to the death of Mr. Vasquez.”


“What kind of injuries?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Several stabbing injuries.”



“Have you recovered the [weapon]?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we suspect that we have the murder weapon likewise.”


Osbaldo Nieto remains hospitalized at the KHMH under police guard.  It is expected that charges will be laid on him in the days ahead.

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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