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Nov 8, 2013

Michael Silva charged with the murder of Maritza Santos

Michael Silva

On his return to Belize on Thursday, Michael Joseph Silva was charged for the murder of Maritza Janet Santos, which occurred two years ago in San Ignacio. Police were called to the home Silva shared with his nineteen year old girlfriend, Maritza Santos in September 2011. She was dead and Silva was critically injured after ingesting poison. The couple was alone at the time, so information was scarce, and Silva left the country days after to seek medical attention in Guatemala. Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl Lynn-Vidal says that Belizean authorities kept close tabs on Silva the entire time he was in Guatemala. Contrary to popular speculation, conspiracy theory and unfounded claims, the DPP says that there is a very credible explanation for Silva’s prolonged absence from the murder investigation into the death of Santos. And that is that at the time Silva left the country, there was no murder investigation. In fact, says the DPP, based on what the Police found on the scene, it appeared to be a suicide pact between young lovers, including a suicide note. Vidal says local doctors claimed they could do nothing more for Silva, who had ingested poison. She gave permission for him to be flown to Guatemala so doctors there could attempt to save his life. It was only after the post-mortem examination on Santos that murder entered the picture. At that point Silva was gravely ill, confined to a hospital in Guatemala, so Belizean authorities sent somebody to Guatemala to keep tabs on him. Silva allegedly spent months at the hospital, and even when released had to go in for treatment every day. It was at that point that a warrant was prepared for him, so that he could be charged for murder upon coming back. The DPP says Interpol was notified about the warrant not because Silva was on the run, but so they could red-flag him in the event he tried to leave Guatemala. Things got held up a bit in recent months because Silva was relatively healthy, but did not return to Belize. The Office of the Solicitor-General had become involved to secure his return and was allegedly working on it. In the end, there was no need to go through those official channels because Silva returned on Thursday and handed himself in to Police. So that’s where we are tonight. The official explanation is quite a bit different from that circulated in other circles. The DPP says that earlier this year she even met with Santos’ family in the company of the Interpol representative and the Police to brief them on the situation. With that said…Silva has been charged for murder and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. He is scheduled to reappear in Court on January twenty-third, 2014.



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