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Jul 28, 1999

B.D.F. border shooting inquiry continues

Meanwhile in Belmopan the Commission of Inquiry investigating the killing of Guatemalan Mateo Ramirez by a B.D.F. patrol has concluded its second day of deliberations. Six witnesses were called including pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran. In painstaking detail Estradabran testified that the fatal bullet entered Ramirez’s head just under his right eye and exited from the left side of the back of his skull. This would suggest that Ramirez was facing the soldiers when he was killed and not turned with his back to them as some accounts have suggested. Estradabran also stated that according to his investigation the shot from the M-16 rifle had been fired from a point “in close proximity” to the victim. Tomorrow the 10 year old son of Ramirez who was with him at his death is expected to testify — providing that a psychiatric examination shows that such testimony will not be harmful to his mental health. The court will also hear from the B.D.F. soldier who actually fired the fatal shot. The Commission of Inquiry is headed by Chief Magistrate Herbert Lord and includes Maria Gamero and Inez Sanchez. Ramirez was killed in Arenal Village near the Guatemalan border on June twelfth.

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