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Jul 27, 2006

Family mourns San Pedrana killed in Guatemala

Story PictureIt won’t show up in Belize’s official crime statistics, but the murder of a popular San Pedro disc jockey in Guatemala has left Ambergis Caye in a state of shock. Today I visited the island to dig deeper into the tragedy.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Today a candle remains lit inside the studio where twenty-one year old Lesly Maldonado worked as an announcer at Reef Radio. Maldonado who was the only female radio announcer on the island was killed while she was on vacation in the Guatemalan Town of Melchor De Mencos, just across the western border.

According to Karol Maldonado, her sister told them that she was heading to Melchor to purchase a vehicle. The family believes Maldonado was set up and killed for the seven thousand dollars she was reportedly carrying to make the purchase.

Karol Maldonado, Sister of the Deceased
?She was going to Melchor exactly to get a Camry car. We do not know the description of the car, but we know the car was for a lady that was one of her friends? aunt. The girl was here Sunday and Monday because they left Monday.?

The family says they do not know at what time that day Maldonado may have crossed the border but around five that evening she called them to say that she was back in Belize and that she was heading home. Because it was late she said she would not make the last flight to San Pedro. The family says Maldonado did not say if she had bought the car and they do not know if she spent that night with friends in Benque Viejo but when she did not return home the following day her brother called his sister to find out what was the problem. That?s when Karol says Lelsy told her brother that she was going to come home shortly but that she needed to go and get the vehicle in Guatemala. Karol says her brother then became concerned about his sister?s safety and warned her not to make the trip.

Karol Maldonado
?Don?t go there, its too dangerous for you to go with money there. So she said, no man I?ll be ok. That was last time we heard from her.?

The phone call occurred around two on Tuesday afternoon. The family say they do not know if at the time Maldonado was in trouble but their investigation has since revealed that around seven that morning Lesly crossed the border back into Melchor. Karol says her sister?s friend who is from Guatemala, and the person who accompanied Maldonado to Melchor has since told them that the last time she saw Lesly was around five that Tuesday evening after she left her home in Guatemala presumably to return to Belize. The family believes the girl knows more than what she has been telling authorities.

Karol Maldonado
?She knows what was going on and what happened to Lesly after five o?clock that she said she left Lesly. That Lesley jumped in a little yellow kind of motorcycle taxi. I know she knows more than that. She knows more than that, but she doesn?t want to say it because she said that people from Melchor were telling her that the second person is her.?

Around seven on Wednesday morning Guatemalan authorities contact their Belizean counterparts to say they discovered a female body in Melchor. Maldonado had been shot twice to the upper part of her chest. The family say what is troubling is that when they viewed the body the clothes Maldonado was wearing had no bullet holes.

Karol Maldonado
?No ? it didn?t. It looked like she was naked and they shot her. These guys had the guts to change her again and throw her on the road like a dog.?

The family and police believe that Maldonado was killed at one location and then her body was dumped where it was found. Today the family also took time to respond to reports that drugs may have been involved.

Karol Maldonado
?It?s not true. I just ask the people not to say that because right now it?s really hurtful for all of us. We don?t assume one hundred percent that this is true. We don?t know but that was what she told us that she wanted her little car here.?

Ian Leiva, Manger, Reef Radio
?She was a very active person in the community. Everybody knew her well. She was very outgoing. She use to like to party a lot. She had a lot of friends that would come by the station and bring her ice cream, food, etc. She was very well known and very well liked.?

Meanwhile at Ninety-two point Three F.M, the mod remains sombre as staff and listeners have been calling with condolences.

Ian Lieva
?We have been getting phones calls after phone calls. People really liked her show. The way she use get along with people on the air, and interact with them.?

The Maldonado family says they do not believe their loved one?s killer will ever be found but are urging anyone with information to please contact the authorities.

Karol Maldonado
?I do not think so ? I don?t think so. I will pray that they do and they give us a name, but we will leave it in God?s hands.?

Maldonado, the mother of two young children, will be buried Friday in San Pedro following funeral services at her family’s home. She is not the first Belizean to be killed in Guatemala. In 2004 fifty-five year old Carlota Yacab of Benque Viejo was murdered, also in Melchor de Mencos.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Family mourns San Pedrana killed in Guatemala”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    We all !@#$%^&* about a Guatemalan that was shot by the BDF in the execution of their duties.What about all these Belizean Citizens that has been killed in Guatemala?

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