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Jun 5, 2013

Belmopan Comprehensive School students charged for murder

On June first one man was killed and another injured when they tried to intervene in an armed robbery at the La Choza bar in Belmopan. The robbers opened fire and customers at the bar Isabel Antonio Balona received fatal wounds to the chest and abdomen while Manuel Aquino was shot in the leg. Quick Police work has led to the detention of four men, three of them students at the Belmopan Comprehensive School. And while Police say they have solved that murder and armed robbery, they also claim that the men in custody are part of a gang which carried out several robberies, including the brazen jacking of nine students in a dorm at the University of Belize Belmopan Campus on May eighth. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan today and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Today students at the Belmopan Comprehensive School are celebrating their graduation, but instead of walking proudly down the aisle in gowns with hats and tassels, three of their fourth form friends were today doing the perp walk from the station to the courtroom, in handcuffs and with armed guards. Police say eighteen year old Manuel Hernandez, nineteen year old Rasheed Crespo, eighteen year old Rudy Santos and twenty-nine year old Edwin Paula are guilty of murder and several brazen robberies. Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police Detachment Sinquest Martinez says the case started coming together on Sunday.


Sinquest Martinez

ASP Sinquest Martinez, O.C., Belmopan Police Formation

“It was hard work, dedication and since for the past two months, there was a rise of crime in Belmopan and was plaguing myself and along with my coworkers. We sat down Sunday morning, strategized and from there it was one person that we caught within the area of the car and that is what caused us to crack the case.”


This afternoon the men were charged with murder, attempted murder, dangerous harm and deadly means of harm in relation to the June first incident at La Choza, and this morning they were charged in relation to the UB incident. Martinez says they are very confident of the case.


ASP Sinquest Martinez

“This morning they were charged for nine counts of aggravated burglary that occurred at the University of Belize in May of this year. The young boys that were detained, an item was found on them or at their homes—one of the stolen items. It is either from the University of Belize or from the establishment that was robbed on Saturday. So they are linked. Like I said, seventy-five percent of the items from the University of Belize’s aggravated burglary have been recovered. And most of the stuff that was stolen from the establishment with the incident that transpired on Saturday have been recovered; the money, the cell phones—they have been identified. They are linked. We haven’t planted anything on them.”


The oldest of the group, Edwin Paula, was also charged with possession of unlicensed firearms and unlicensed ammunition for a sixteen gauge shotgun and a point thirty-eight caliber revolver Police say was found in his possession, along with three shotgun cartridges and six live rounds of point thirty-eight caliber ammunition. Martinez says he is no stranger to them and is considered the leader of the gang.


ASP Sinquest Martinez

“He is; he is no stranger to us. This is not the first or second time that he has been charged for these kinds of crime within my area of responsibility. We know that they are moving in a gang, like a gang, about four to five robberies are three person, four person or five to six persons. So we are looking for two other persons that can assist us likewise because in the UB aggravated burglary, there were six persons.”


Police say that the men in custody are cooperating with the Police, since there are other persons being sought in relation to the UB robbery and other related robberies. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Today family members of the three students gathered around the courtroom during the trial. Of note is that the father of one of the young men is a lecturer at the University of Belize.

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13 Responses for “Belmopan Comprehensive School students charged for murder”

  1. leo says:

    a hope dm ada young youths weh tink dm wa continue rob n burglarize peoples hme in belmopan wake up ka ASP Sinquest n he crew no d play, dm tek dm work serious.
    a job well done 2 the entire Belmopan police formation. Excellent work and keep it up so dat belmopan remains peaceful. . . hats off 2 uno Police!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Johnny Cash says:

    I must applaud the efforts of the Police Department.

    It is very hart-wrenching to see the future these young men have chosen for themselves.

  3. Al says:

    As a country we are failing our children and parents have gone totally rouge, seemingly neglecting discipline. The moral fiber of the country is so badly damaged that the word family is no longer meaningful. A child whose father seems to have a responsible position is left to run with gangs and participate in murderous activity. These awful activities comes from the lack of any positive things for these young people to do. There is a feeling of hopelessness, the kids see no future no reason to make any decent plans. The governmnet have done nothing to improve the future of this country. Belize is no further ahead than where it was forty years ago, there in lies the problem.

  4. Rose says:

    Heart wrenching yes, but this is what migration of these Central Americans have brought to our country – murder and mayhem.

  5. amri says:

    this is very sad to know that our youths are geting out of hand every day…. lets hope this serves as an example to the rest so they think twice before they do anything out of the way!!!!!! lets think about our future!!!!! study hard and b respectful to be someone in life!!!!! stop henging out with the wrong persons!!!!!t stay in school and try your best!!!!!!!!!

  6. Jackie says:

    such welcome news amidst all that is happening in our little Belize. Job well done to the Belmopn police formation and to ASP Martinez- Job well done and we hope you get the opportunity to do a general weep of this scumbags who have no position in our society.

    They may be young men, young boys but have the mentality and should now assume the responsibility and consequences of their actions.

  7. Johnny Cash says:

    Rose, I understand these kids are born Belizeans so that is not a migration problem.

    However, as Al says, this is a result of broken families and limited opportunities for the youths. Lack of guidance.

  8. JOHN DOE says:


  9. Belizean Pride says:

    they want to play bad man well make them pay for it as bad man that prison, but there always comes the big question what about the parents of this youths? do they lack some kind of family values? I for sure grew up that when mom and dad says u no di go out or be on this time dah because they mean it, but now a days some parents don’t even care nor have no clue where their youths are or what they are doing. that’s how our society is melting into such a sad state with killings, rapes, robberies, vandalism and you name it.

  10. Eye in the Sky says:

    Belize has really gone to hell. Now high school students are murderers & thieves. Wow we are a proud nation and people still are calling it a jewel. More like $h!th0l3

  11. Eyes watchingyou says:

    Don’t be quick to blame migration BELIZEAN BORN OF BELIZEAN PARENTS ,GRANDPARENT AND GREAT GRANDPARENTS etc are also committing these type of crimes and even more but guess what you never hear of it and Guess Why? because they are well protected the master minds behind them have very good protection. Lots of them have the investigators on their side and its sad to say but there is no law to protect these youths instead the youths get all the blame and and more and more youths will fall in these traps daily. It will continue to happen and why ?because until the MASTERS or the Leaders of these gangs get their share of punishment and publicity when they are caught it will continue to happen one youth goes to jail today tomorrow they recruit three or more and the cycle continues the law knows who they are in most cases.STOP playing games with them give them what they deserve they are the ones causing all these youths to go down the drain and are being allowed to sit happily enjoying the sweets of the foolish young people who fall in their trap driving around in their nice rides partying and enjoying the innocent .”REALITY “some of these youth don’t have a choice you join or die Good job there Officer Incharge but keep a keen eye on some of your trusted officers lot of them are sheep in wolf clothing and the Good lord will reveal it to you someday soon.

  12. Queen says:

    People like to judge other! No nobody is asking the question why they did it.

  13. young says:

    I agree, those must have a reason for what they did. when the time comes only God will judge. Most of you just talk, why don’t you do something to stop it?

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