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Jul 24, 2013

Luis Mendez, a Jaguar at heart, dies in traffic accident

Luis Mendez

It is a bitter sweet moment for the national team. As it celebrates Woodrow West and Ian Gaynair, it is mourning the death of team member Luis Mendez. Mendez played defense in UNCAF games against Costa Rica that sealed a spot in the Gold Cup for the Jaguars. Mendez died tragically in Guatemala on Tuesday and his remains will be brought back to Benque Viejo for burial. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Sometime after three on Tuesday afternoon, twenty-two year old Luis Mendez, his wife and mother-in-law were traveling back home to Benque from Guatemala when the passenger bus they were traveling in slid off the road and flipped. Several passengers were injured, but Mendez was the only one who was killed.

 

Eric Manzanero, Brother of Deceased

Eric Manzanero

“It was yesterday evening that we were informed of the accident of my little brother, Luis Mendez. Apparently he was there accompanying his wife…his wife is taking a course there. They were traveling back home yesterday evening and what we got first that it was just an accident. And apparently some people knew the tragic news, but they didn’t want to tell us the terrible news because of the mom.”

 

Mendez was a part of the national A selection team of the F.F.B. and played defense in the team’s historic performance during this year’s UNCAF games held in Costa Rica.  That which qualified the team to move on to the Gold Cup games played earlier this month. Mendez did not make the cut, but today, President of the F.F.B., Ruperto Vicente, said that he was a vital part of the team and participated in the camps leading up to the Gold Cup selection.

 

Ruperto Vicente

Ruperto Vicente, President, F.F.B.

“He was a part of the national football team. He played a key part in the Belize team qualifying to the Gold Cup because he played in Costa Rica and he was a main part of the team. He was a defensive player, but he also played defensive mid-field. He had also played on the U-20 of football teams. A young player with a great future but unfortunately we lost him. He was at the camp initially and when the cut was made, he too was cut, but he remained a member of the national team.”

 

And indeed it is a tremendous loss to the sport as the trophies displayed at the family house in Benque Viejo Del Carmen show that Mendez was an avid player and had represented Belize in several international friendly matches and made fans proud.

 

Eric Manzanero

“From very young, he loved football… two years, three years old; he already had his own football—kicking the ball all around. And of course I must make mention that he was the founder of my team, the Benque Jaguars. He will always be remembered for that and of course the national selection. We want to remember him as a promising football that he was. He was so young and the good things that he did for the community; that’s the way we want to remember him. He was very fun; he was very active. Of course he loved his football; a very big fan of Barcelona. And we always quarreled because he was Barcelona and I was the opposite team, Madrid. So I had my flag, he had his flag. But loving memories, loving memories. And of course he would be sadly missed, but not forget.”

 

Mendez was born on the twelfth of December 1990. His body will be transported to Belize tonight. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Mendez’s body will be laid to rest on Friday following a wake on Thursday night. Funeral services will be held at the Mount Carmel Church. 

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2 Responses for “Luis Mendez, a Jaguar at heart, dies in traffic accident”

  1. Belizean Pride says:

    my deepest condolence to this family may the Lord give them the strength to pass through the hard time in their lives.
    Also a lose for the Jaguars team and he should be remembered as one of those that did the job of helping the Jaguars qualify for the Gold Cup.

  2. ceo says:

    Can anything else happen to this team? Moany obstacles to overcome but stay with it it will pay off!

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