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Dec 30, 1998

D.P.P. releases Hummingbird suspects

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The May second murder of a B.D.F. volunteer and mass holdup of nearly two hundred Belizeans on the Hummingbird Highway by a band of heavily armed Guatemalans is probably the most audacious crime ever committed on Belizean soil. At the time the police suffered tremendous embarrassment at their inability to apprehend the killers even though they rode in an open pickup right past the nation’s capital, across the Roaring Creek and Hawksworth Bridges, through Benque Viejo and over the border at Arenal. Today that embarrassment continues as Director of Public Prosecutions Adolph Lucas has thrown out the murder charges against the only three men the police managed to arrest. The case against Eluterio Vasquez, Alfonso Teul and Orlando Urbina appeared from the beginning to rest more on wishful thinking than on evidence. Shortly after the arrest of Teul and Vasquez News Five interviewed three witnesses who flatly claimed that the two men spent the entire morning of May second picking oranges in the Stann Creek Valley, and not packing AK 47s twenty miles away up the Hummingbird Highway.

Roy Davis, Driver, H.T.A. Bowman Ltd.

(May 17, 1998) “Yes, definate. I pick up these men at the compound and see that the two men enter the trailer at the time and take them over as the captain say, six thirty – you know sometime you make bad time and the crowd get with it – to take them over and I sure I take over the two men.”

Q: “And did you also take them back?”

Roy Davis

“I also take them back.”

Q: “So there’s no way in your estimation that you could have taken them and they run off the Hummingbird Highway, commit this crime and come back?”

Roy Davis

“I think it’s highly impossible for something like that.”

Q: “Christopher West, you are senior supervisor for H.T.A. Bowman and you were in charge of this crew that Saturday. What did you see?”

Christopher West, Senior Supervisor, H.T.A. Bowman Ltd.

“That day we went out, as Alfonso said, about six thirty and he explained already how it really worked that day, which is we have to stay right behind the workers, see to it that they are working and keep in touch with them. We had left some trailers parked from Thursday, which was Friday the holiday we didn’t work. Davis the driver then went after he left we off at the factory to offload it. It took him some time, like about, came back about eleven – little after eleven. When he brought the news to us that there were a robbery in the valley, or on the road up on the southern road because he was there when they brought some other guys in a towhead from where the robbery took place that were shot.

It was surprising to us that these two men were right there hearing this same news that they brought – what he was telling us – and now they say that they were the ones that were doing that.”

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