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Mar 20, 2018

City Families Come to Grips with Loss of Matriarchs

Theresita Flowers

Two grieving families torn apart by the relentless gunfire are tonight looking for answers as well as for justice. Theresita Flowers and Bernadine Lauriano were both murdered in the recent spate of urban warfare. Family members are left behind to cope with the pain of the abrupt violent loss of life made worse by the perceived sluggishness of police work. The families were once neighbours, but a protracted feud going back to 2013 has so far resulted in the death of three members. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The grief of losing a loved one is a burden borne by all at some time or another.  In contrast, knowing that a relative was innocently slaughtered by someone who is no stranger to the family is an emotional and mental weight that is most difficult to bear.  To make matters worse, investigators are constrained by the fact that there is insufficient evidence to make an arrest, despite public knowledge of the alleged perpetrators.

 

Andrea Tucker

Andrea Tucker, Daughter of Deceased

“Fi di person weh do it, I know dehn know what dehn do and I know for a fact that he da mi wahn lee bwai di run bout ya.  He does eat from my ma.  I know ih eat from my ma because my ma was a kind and generous person.”

 

For Andrea Tucker, the third child of Theresita Flowers, that sense of familiarity with her mother’s killer is haunting.  It’s a similar feeling shared by Bernadine Lauriano’s sibling a week ago.  They both know very well who these bad actors are.  They presumably live among them, however, bringing them to justice is quite challenging.

 

Andrea Tucker

“I noh wah seh really and truly that my nephew involved with the lady, you know.  But my nephew heng with dehn and on that night dah my nephew dehn mi di look fa when my mother died.  It was my nephew.  He caused us to lose our mother.  He caused us to lose his grandmother.”

 

That individual in question is nineteen-year-old Daniel Hughes.  He lost his mother, Tanika Lemoth, to a similar act of callous gun violence in March 2016.  He too was injured during Saturday night’s deadly spray of bullets, albeit under dubious circumstances.

 

Alejandro Cowo

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

“We have a person in custody that is being questioned in reference to that incident there.  He is also alleging that he was, he had received a gunshot somewhere in the Aloe Vera Street [area].  He was taken to the hospital, he was treated and he was released.”

 

Reporter

“This is Mr. Hughes?…”

 

ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes. At this moment he is being detained as a suspect, yes.”

 

Daniel Hughes

While in police custody, Hughes was approached by his aunt.  She simply wanted a word with him.

 

Andrea Tucker

“I had a word with him yesterday.  I talk it to he, I talk to him in front of the police them and he was like “Auntie, ah know ah wrong, ah know ah did wrong,” but da like ih wahn talk and ih noh wahn talk, yoh undastand and all I tell ahn, “Nephew, you haffi talk how you feel.  You haffi bring it out.  Ih really hurt fi know dat I lose my mother eena this way.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“From what I have been made to understand so far is that this all began in 2013, where several young men got into an altercation and it continues.  It has now resulted in the deaths of three persons, a mother, Ms. Bernadine Lauriano, your mother and someone who she took in as a child, as a daughter of her own, one would say.  When does this all end?”

 

Andrea Tucker

“I cannot tell you when it ends or when it begins because di lady Ms. Lauriano used to live right backa we, that’s why I seh right, she use to live to the back, right through di back deh she use to live, that’s why I seh young bwai weh do dis, he know, he eat outta my ma pot when he mi small.  He know, yoh undastand.  That’s why I seh if he mi had wahn problem with my nephew, he coulda mi cohn to my ma and seh Ms. Therese this da di situation, please talk to yoh grandson fi mi or Ms. Ther or Granny Ther, please talk to yoh grandson because this da di situation and da young bwai know he mi wahn get ih justice from my ma.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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