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Aug 5, 2013

Guatemalan and resident of Benque is murdered

Pedro Antonio Vasquez

Turning to crime news, there was a vicious murder over the weekend in Benque Viejo del Carmen. A Guatemalan national who made the border town his home for at least fifteen years, was bludgeoned to death and his body found near a gas station in the downtown area on Sunday morning. Most of the injuries were to the face; he sustained two large cut wounds to his forehead and a deep cut to the nose. The family of Pedro Antonio Vasquez says they are stunned at his murder.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The discovery of fifty-one-year-old Pedro Antonio Vasquez, beaten to a pulp and left for dead in a drain not far from where he was last seen socializing, was a rather ghastly sight.  The Guatemalan laborer was reportedly bleeding profusely from the face, having been bashed repeatedly with an edged object.  On Saturday night, Vasquez set out from his home in the Old Dump Area of Benque Viejo Town and made his way over to the Picadilly Lounge on Churchill Street, where he had been drinking until sometime after four o’clock the following morning.


The local police department received a phone call shortly thereafter.


Dinsdale Thompson

ASP Dinsdale Thompson, Officer Commanding Benque Viejo Police

“Upon arriving at the scene, we found Mr. Vasquez, Mr. Antonio Vasquez lying on the street, which the police then took him, at the time he was bleeding.  They took him over to the San Ignacio Hospital where upon arrival the doctor had pronounced him dead.”


According to Vasquez’s son, who asked to remain unidentified, the murder succeeds a previous incident during which his father was also badly beaten.  Aspersions have been cast as to the motive behind the brutal killing.


Voice of: Pedro Antonio Vasquez’s Son

“He was beaten the first time and maybe the case was going on but to stop the case he was killed.”


Isani Cayetano

“You were mentioning that he was out drinking at a local bar.  Can you speak to us a little more about that?”


Voice of: Pedro Antonio Vasquez’s Son

“It was like, they were saying that he was drinking at the Picadilly and then he came out from there and [it was] until the morning we heard that he was dead.”


Isani Cayetano

“What did they tell you, in terms of what may have happened as to the cause of his death?”


Voice of: Pedro Antonio Vasquez’s Son

“They never said anything, only that he was beaten and all his face was all messed up.  Like it was, his skin was torn off.”


Vasquez had been bludgeoned by someone who had it out with him.  Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson says he’s also aware of the unproven motive.  A thirty-year-old laborer of a Hudson Lane address was subsequently brought in for questioning but has since been released.


ASP Dinsdale Thompson

“We have so far interviewed that individual with which he was involved in some type of fight but no lead as to [whether] there was any involvement with him at this present moment.”


Isani Cayetano

“It is believed that Mr. Vasquez may have been bludgeoned to death.  Was there any weapon or anything found at the scene of this incident?”


ASP Dinsdale Thompson

“No.  We have not found any weapon, however, yes we are looking at his body at the moment and at present his body is in Belize City [undergoing] a post mortem.  We’re waiting for the results of that which will then say what is the cause of his death.”


Pedro Antonio Vasquez migrated to Belize from neighboring Guatemala in 1998 and established his home here in Old Dump, a community which sits near the borders of both countries.  His son recalls receiving word of the tragedy.


Voice of: Pedro Antonio Vasquez’s Son

“A man came here and told me that maybe it was my father who was lying dead right by the gas station and we went in the car and checked if it was true.  It was my father.”


Isani Cayetano

“What was the immediate reaction either on your part or on the part of those who went to identify the body?”


Voice of: Pedro Antonio Vasquez’s Son

“Me and my brother, we went together to identify the body but the police told me to go to the Cayo hospital and we went and checked and verified that it was my father and it was him.”


Despite detaining several individuals for questioning, Benque Viejo police are yet to make an arrest in their first homicide case since the beginning of the year. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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