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Jan 28, 2013

A Swan song for a beleaguered family

The murder of twenty-five year old boat captain Byron Estrada came as a shock to his mother, but she is certainly no stranger to tragedy and no stranger to violent death and allegations that those deaths are drug related.  When the dots are connected, a picture emerges linking the touristy tropical island of San Pedro to the gang underworld of Belize City. This story takes us back to June 2012, when the bodies of two young men were found in shallow graves. Charlie Espat is Estrada’s younger brother who along with his cousin Edwardo Alamilla were murdered and buried in the grave.  Carla Bradley reports.


Carla Bradley, Reporting

On June eighth, twenty twelve the decomposed bodies of eighteen year old Charlie Espat and his seventeen year old cousin Edwardo Daniel Alamilla were found buried in a shallow grave in the village of Santa Martha off the old Northern Highway. Reports are that the duo had come in from San Ignacio en route to their home in San Pedro, but never reached. Instead, they allegedly visited a home on George Street and that is where communications ceased. A younger brother of deceased, Charlie Espat, told the media that he was with his brother and cousin when they started receiving texts from somebody who told them to come to a residence on the Northern Highway where they would be given some money. According to the younger brother, he told them not to go and when they wouldn’t listen he jumped out the vehicle. That was the last time he saw his brother and cousin alive.


Voice of: Brother of Charlie Espat (File: June 11th, 2012)

“They mi di plan fi go yonder dah Patrick Swan house weh Eric Swan mi deh. And they mi gwen meet wah friend dah the boat terminal too weh gone missing. And the bredda dehn mi di try find dehn, but dehn neva find them, they only find my two bredda dah Santa Marta. But dehn mi di plan fi go yonder dah fi dehn house. And then I jump off of the vehicle and then I gone dah di boat terminal and right there so I gone fi go dah San Pedro and then I tell my parents that my bredda and my cousin dehn gone dah Patrick Swan house. My pa get worried and then ih start call my cousin and then my cousin tell ahn dehn okay. But I know dehn neva okay because dehn mi done threaten fi kill dehn. That’s why I exit the vehicle or not I mi wah deh right pan the graveyard with them right now. None ah we neva mi deh di talk, we just mi di go along di follow the road. But after that when we done di reach around Belmopan, I start tell my bredda why he gwen deh so when dehn done threaten he. And then he tell me mek I noh worry because everything straight with he and this and that. And I just left them. I think ina my mind that Eric Swan sweet up my cousin and then my cousin sweet up my bredda and then dehn get along fu go dah Belize City. But I done know the report weh my pa give to the police dehn; that can’t go missing like that.”


Pricilla Espat

In her interview after the murder of Byron Estrada, Pricilla Espat alleges that she and her family have been threatened by a man she knows. She wants to see him face to face.


Pricilla Espat, Mother of Deceased

“That man wants my sons. He wants me and my children and said that one by one we will die. That is what he said. And you know I can assure you here, because that was what he said. I don’t know what he has against us, but in reality—I don’t know. I noh owe he nothing.”


John Paul Saldivar

Eric Swan is no stranger to the Police. In early February, 2009, he was arrested following reports of shots fired on the north end of San Pedro. Shortly after, he was arrested and charged for murder.  Police recovered the body of John Paul Saldivar who had been tortured and shot multiple times. Authorities believed that Saldivar had been murdered in retaliation for the killing of James Swan, brother of Eric, and Edward Gutierrez who were found in a shallow grave in the area. Also charged along with Eric Swan for that murder were notorious George Street dons Shelton ‘Pinky’ Tillett, and Micah Thompson. Reporting for News Five, Carla Bradley.


It was believed that the three murders were the result of a drug deal gone sour after reports of a ‘wet drop’ in the area. All three were later released after the Director of Public Prosecutions dropped the case for lack of evidence. Police have not released the names of the men presently detained for questioning, and our news team was unable to determine if Eric Swan has been questioned.

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2 Responses for “A Swan song for a beleaguered family”

  1. Al says:

    A familiar name again, Pinky Tillett. That man is at the heart of the ugly underside of this drug mess and killings in the cuntry. It is my strong belief that Pinky knows what happened to his four buddiies. Pinky is too silent on those killings, ask the question “why”.

  2. islander says:

    Daddy Rock gets another murder under its belt “AGAIN”. Yes the perpetrator is the one who should be punished but this is I think the 3rd murder at daddy rocks or big daddys whatever they want to call themselves.

    You never hear about such issues at Jaguars or Fidos because of the tight security and the fact that you do not really get much riff raff hanging out in those spots.

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