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Feb 23, 2018

Soldiers, Cop Under Scrutiny as O.W. Reels from Vicious Beating and Killing

Ariel Audinette Salazar

Seven soldiers of an elite unit of the Belize Defence Force and a police officer are in custody tonight following the savage beating of an Orange Walk resident at his house in Orange Walk Town. The severity of the beating caused the puncture of his lung and kidney and led to his death within hours at the Northern Regional Hospital.  The group, known as the BSAG, wore masks and was armed when they went to the house of Ariel Audinette Salazar looking for a cell phone. In the process, they killed him up and injured another person inside the house. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

This is forty-six-year-old Ariel Audinette Salazar. He is the man who was so badly beaten that his bones were crushed inside him and those broken bones punctured his lung and kidney. And as indicated on his death certificate, he suffered internal hemorrhage, massive blood loss, as well as blunt force trauma as a result of the violent attack. But he wasn’t beaten by just anyone, at least not by civilians. As many as eight law enforcement officers, seven of whom are from a B.D.F. Unit called the Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) and one police officer of the Special Patrol Unit, allegedly assaulted Ariel. He and three of his friends were inside his home here on the corner of Staine’s Alley and San Antonio Road in Orange Walk Town when armed persons dressed in camouflage suits and some with masks broke through this door around two-thirty on Thursday morning. The armed men were supposedly looking for a cell phone.

 

Manuelita Salazar, Sister of the Deceased

“Mi lee bredda got three bwai weh di stay with ah and one ah deh got wah girlfriend and the girlfriend give ah wah phone. So, when she give ah the phone now it look like dem mi di fight so she wanted the phone back and he nuh wah give ah. So, she gone and she come back with them same kinda people weh beat ah up. When they come now, they gone upstairs and they only tell them bout phone and they start to beat up all ah them; all ah them they start to kick up and they ask who dah the owner of the house and my lee bredda ansa ‘me’ and that’s why they mussie beat him up so bad.  Mi lee bredd say, “Mani, to God dah lotta deh beat up wi.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did they use anything to beat them – or just hands and feet?”

 

Manuelita Salazar

Manuelita Salazar

“He tell me that the guns and they kick them up and punch them up; all kinda thing they do dem. Over his nose, I don’t know if it was broken or not, it was bleeding.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, when you saw him, he was broken up and bleeding?”

 

Manuelita Salazar

“Bruk and di bleed. He couldn’t move. They had to bring the hard board from hospital to turn him on and as I turned him on his back, he bawled for us to put him on his side. So, when we got in there the doctor told us he was dead. He said we will tell you the truth, “everything was broken up in him; he couldn’t live.” All this bone between the chest bruk up and so he could have never make it.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“And so they had to have beaten him badly?”

 

Manuelita Salazar

“Very badly. The next lee bwai deh right deh [hospital] and the man says that he has internal bleeding.”

 

But when the men didn’t produce the cell phone, the officers proceeded to beat them up. It was a brutal, physical attack. The officers then allegedly took turns torturing the men; dunking their heads inside this bucket with water. The assault moved from inside the house to out here in the yard. Luckily one of the men got away, but Ariel Audinette, Noe Sanchez and Oscar Payes were not as fortunate. Manuelita Salazar says she found her brother bleeding and injured. He was taken to the hospital but died before midday on Thursday. But before he died, he had the chance to tell his sister who battered him.

 

Manuelita Salazar

“When we reached deh my lee bredda deh pahn the septic. Deh lay off inna pain, bad pain. You can’t move ah because everything bruk up inna ah. We mi try move ah but we couldn’t move. We gone to the next lee bwai and when we raised him up, he said he is in pain and can’t get up. My husband and my son raised him up and when they were walking him to the vehicle, the lee bwai say mi eye open but I nuh di see.  We ker ah inna the ambulance and I gone with ah. So, when he reached there we started to clean him up because he was muddy. They mi di push ih head down and up; down and up.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Down and up in a bucket? With water?”

 

Manuelita Salazar

“Yes he tell me from the first – listen he said, ‘Mani, deh beat we up upstairs, all four ah we. Dem kick up we and stomp up we and it was upstairs they full up the bucket and duck we head in there.’ From there they took them down and put them on the septic and a higher boss from them tell to give them a next round. I tell ah dah weh kinda people do this? He said that dah the one dem in green suit, so he said that dah the B.D.F. dem.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, your brother was able to talk to you, Miss Manuelita and he identified the men who did this?”

 

Manuelita Salazar

“Yes. He tell mi everything before he died. I said, thank God I reached there before he died. He tell mi everything weh happen.”

 

 

Salazar says her brother was unjustly killed and she wants the law enforcement officers who killed him to be held responsible.

 

Manuelita Salazar

“All I want dah justice, please. It is not fair for somebody to die innocently. Why? They couldn’t bring him to the station? I don’t mind if he did wrong, lock him down, but nuh kill mi lee bredda. My brother just come from the States the ending of October and he not even here good for four months and they kill ah. I don’t know why they had to do that. All I want dah justice.”

 

Noe Sanchez was treated and released from the Northern Regional Hospital, while Oscar Payes remains hospitalized. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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1 Response for “Soldiers, Cop Under Scrutiny as O.W. Reels from Vicious Beating and Killing”

  1. Annie Salazar says:

    These are not ‘elite’ soldiers, these are mercenaries that are terrorizing the people of Belize. This consistent pattern of inhumane behavior by those who are paid by the People’s money needs to end – sadly its a reflection of their leadership.

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