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Feb 2, 2018

Cayo Mayor Vs P.U.P. Supporter: Mischief or ‘Chance’?

As the March seventh elections draw closer, temperatures are running high in Cayo where the two political parties are clashing and violence is emerging. On Thursday evening, a young man alleges that he was beaten up by the campaign team led by U.D.P. mayor Earl Trapp. While he has several injuries to show, late this evening, Michael Lemus was charged for two counts of Threatening Words and one count of Aggravated Assault upon a traffic warden. The mayor is disputing the allegations. Tonight, there’s video of Lemus as he is being taken away by police. News Five’s Isani Cayetano went to the red hills and files the following report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The campaign trail, as time-consuming as it is for candidates going about their door-to-door visits, can be unwelcoming.  When supporters from the United Democratic Party and those from the People’s United Party cross paths during election season, that meeting is more often than not tense and hostile.  On Thursday night, things came to a head in San Ignacio where Mayor Earl Trapp and his team came into contact with eighteen-year-old Michael Lemus.  The encounter did not end well.

 

Earl Trapp

Earl Trapp, Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena

“We were out campaigning up on the hills by Cahal Pech area and just about when we were about to quit for the day, we were at the corner of Alta Vista Street and Cahal Pech Street and that’s when I observed a gold-colored car, a taxi with BVO plates, license plate 0906, stopped about twenty feet away from us.  This is when a young man opened the back passenger door on the left hand side and he came out with what appeared to be a Belikin pint and began hurling insulting and threatening words.  At that time my wife was around as well and she told me, “Babe, don’t listen to him.  Leave them alone.”  I, at the time, was a little scared because I couldn’t see who else were in the car, as it was tinted.”

 

The incumbent municipal leader and his team of campaigners proceeded on foot as they were winding down their evening of activity.  The vehicle, according to Trapp, appeared on the scene once again.  That’s when they came into conflict.  Lemus mother was alerted of the fracas by her common law husband.

 

Aranely Rosalez

Aranely Rosalez, Mother of Assault Victim

“Yesterday around six o’clock, my common law husband reach home, knocked on the door and ih seh dat how em dehn U.D.P. di chancey my son.  I run down di hill and sih what di happen.  When I reach I meet my son eena di police truck di bleed up from his mouth, bruise from around his eye, all ya soh.  Ih get hurt ya, but I neva notice that all pan ih back get hurt.  According to my son, he seh dat dehn dreg ahn outta di car, I noh sure da who but I know da U.D.P., and Mr. Lingos jump toppa he, then Mr. Trapp hurt ahn, kick ahn up, Mr. Nick Singh, I noh know who all else beat ahn up.”

 

The mayor’s account of what transpired is starkly different.  He says that on their second encounter, despite having called police for assistance, an intoxicated Lemus wielded a machete after the driver of the vehicle he was traveling in was asked to produce a driver’s license.

 

Earl Trapp

“The same car came back and stopped now in front of us, which was like a little over ten feet and there and then we had a traffic officer of whom I had explained to him what had transpired.  So when the car stopped in front of us he went and asked the driver for his driver’s license.  That is when I observed a machete being shoved through the left passenger door, the backdoor at the traffic officer.  Thereafter, the guy opened the door, came out with the machete at the officer and that’s when a struggle ensued.  The guy fell to the ground on his back and the officer on top, and they began struggling, the machete fell out of his hands and I held it there while the police came and that’s when I called again.  “Police, you need to get here as quick as possible, this is getting out of control.”

 

It is unclear what measure of force was used to subdue Lemus, either by the U.D.P. campaigners or the responding officers.  Several pictures of the young man have since been taken; showing scrapes and bruises to the face and back.

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is the cause of this?  Have you been told by your son what happened as to why he was the victim of this beat down?”

 

Aranely Rosalez

“My son tell me dah because he holla, “P.U.P. got my back.”  and that dat da when dehn get upset and dehn staat to tell off my son too.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can this be seen as perhaps your son provoked a situation with these people I presume were out campaigning?…  Do you think that maybe your son was teasing these people why they were out in the street campaigning?”

 

Aranely Rosalez

“No.  I noh think so.”

 

Whatever the case may have been, Lemus received several injuries, apparently superficial.  To make matters worse, apart from being the alleged victim, he has also been detained by San Ignacio police.

 

Aranely Rosalez

“My son deh lock up dah di police station.  Well he da di one weh get hurt weh dehn hurt up he.  He da di one weh get lockup and di person who hurt he deh free, who is Mr. Trapp, Lingos and Nick Singh.”

 

Footage shown in the wake of the altercation shows other supporters of the People’s United Party informing Lemus, while being taken into police custody, that an attorney had already been secured on his behalf.  Trapp believes the entire episode was orchestrated simply to create political mischief.

 

Earl Trapp

“When you listen to a recording from some of the aspirants running in this election, it seems as though they are condoning this type of behavior because one of them said, “don’t worry, we have an attorney for you already.”  That’s what they told the guy and I think you will see the recording around, I don’t have to be specific, but you will see whereby they can probably be incriminated as some people that are encouraging this type of behavior.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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2 Responses for “Cayo Mayor Vs P.U.P. Supporter: Mischief or ‘Chance’?”

  1. Mari Stella says:

    We do no know who’s telling the truth – it is very sad that these things happen and people do just not understand, that it is just a different political opinion – nothing else. The Mayor might love his kids the same way than the young man who has been arrested – why do they need violence? It is the 2 parties that always plant hate between the people. It is not about doing the best for the country, the area or the village: It is about discredit the other side and make people hate the other side, because as long as they hate each others they will nto watch the politicians doing nothing, being corrrupt or steeling money from the people.
    Same thing happens with the story between Belize and Guatemala – as long as the people hate each others they will stop watching the politicians and that’s what the politicians want.

  2. asdkjer says:

    BENQUE TAXI…TINTED… WHO WHO GAVE THE LICENSE?
    DID HE BUY IT,DID HE GET IT LEGALLY?
    WELL…. IF THE SAN IGNACIO TOWN BOARD DID NOT GIVE HIM LICENSE IT IS A GOOD IDEA TO INVESTIGATE HOW AND WHERE THAT TAXI GOT LICENSE !!!
    WELL, THE HAND THAT FEED HIM WAS BITTEN BY HIM, GO AHEAD TOWN BOARD, GIVE MORE BENQUE TAXI LICENSES. YOU THINK THOSE PEOPLE ARE BELIZEAN?
    THEY ARE GUATEMALAN !!!
    YOU SAN IGNACIO TOWN BOARD HAVE 50 OF THEM BLOCKING TRAFFIC EVERY DAY 24/7.YOU JUST GOT A LEE TASTE OF YOUR PLANTINGS.

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