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Aug 26, 1998

5 prisoners escape: one shot dead, another captured

It may be election eve but as usual in Belize, life goes on… and so does death. Five maximum-security prisoners attempted to escape from the Hattieville Prison Tuesday evening, and one did not live to tell the tale. According to prison officials at around five o’clock the men, all of whom were residents of cell number two, pried open the padlock to their cell door and made a break for the fence. A guard who was stationed nearby saw the prisoners on the run and alerted other officers. Thirty-four year old Eber Ccstro Zelaya, a Honduran serving time for illegal firearms, was shot while trying to climb the fence and died last night at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-five year old Guatemalan Arturo Juarez Ramirez was later apprehended outside the prison. The other three prisoners are still at large. They are Belizeans Ernesto Cervera imprisoned for threatening words and Victor Sanker, on remand for murder as well as twenty-nine year old Salvadoran blackmailer Jose Rivas. Police say that they are to be considered dangerous.

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