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Aug 11, 2014

Cycling Legend Executed in the City…

Ernest ‘JawMeighan’ Meighan

The shooting spree over the weekend is the worst case of violence to grip the city so far this year. Between Friday night and today, four persons lost their lives in the craziest bloodbath: Ernest ‘JawMeighan’ Meighan, Raheem Crawford, Jose Portillo and this afternoon in San Pedro, the body of Santiago Trapp was unearthed from a shallow grave. As that murder count shocks the nation, seven other victims were injured, but survived the gun violence in Belize District alone.  Belize City police called a press briefing for this afternoon but suddenly went on mute and are not providing any information on the status of their investigations in the wave of crime. Witnesses who provided interviews are also in fear of reprisals and have withdrawn their statements as a blanket of terror shrouds the Old Capital.  Tonight, we start our coverage of the bloodbath with the shocking execution of one of Belize’s finest cyclists: Ernest ‘JawMeighan’ Meighan which occurred just before noon on Saturday.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The callous, late-morning execution of forty-two-year-old Ernest Meighan, known across the sports world simply as JawMeighan, has stunned the entire nation.  The decorated cyclist was visiting the George Street residence of Shirlene Cabral, the home of his daughters, shortly after eleven o’clock when he became the victim of a ruthless attack.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

Santiago Castillo Jr., Former Employer/Mentor of Ernest Meighan

“I received a call on Saturday morning, I would say in the vicinity of 11:25 a.m., telling me that JawMeighan had just been shot.  I could not believe it so I did the best I could to immediately verify if this was so.  I was positive beyond the shadow of a doubt when Midget, one of the lieutenants in my constituency, had already called me and he went to the hospital and he called me a second time to verify that he was looking at JawMeighan’s dead body in the back of the truck which they had used to transport him.  And I heard the blood-curdling screams of his children in the background.”


According to Santiago Castillo Jr., JawMeighan’s closest friend and employer, based on a conversation with Cabral, the chain of events transpired all too quickly.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

“I later spoke with to Ms. Shirlene Cabral whom he had visited that morning to pick up his laundry and he informed me that he had received a phone call, went to the room to speak privately, came back out, took the five-gallon that was empty, took it downstairs, put his bag of laundry in his truck, turned around to close the gate and was hit with one shot in the back of his head.”


Meighan’s murder succeeds the death of sixteen-year-old Chryslin Gladden one week earlier and only a few hours after the pre-dawn slaying of twenty-year-old Raheem Crawford.  The connection?  He is the father of Gladden’s accused killer and the uncle of one of the men believed to be involved in the fatal Gibnut Street shooting.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

Chryslin Gladden

“As you know, JawMeighan’s youngest daughter, seventeen-years-old, is a minor, I won’t even repeat her name, has been arrested and is on remand for the alleged crime that happened in the cemetery with the young lady Chryslin Gladden.  JawMeighan was devastated and distraught by that and in no way did he condone any actions of any of his family members who are involved in any type of crime.”


Could the homicide of a well-known and beloved Belizean athlete be a case of poetic justice or was it the Code of Hammurabi revisited in gangland fashion?  The Belize Police Department isn’t saying much other than the fact that one expended shell was retrieved from the scene of the shooting and that the motive is believed to have been an act of retaliation.


Raheem Crawford

Santiago Castillo Jr.

“The first one to see him was one of his daughters, Danisha, who I understand is fifteen-years-old.  She called Shirlene who came down and saw JawMeighan grasping his final breath in her arms, so to speak, and a neighbor offered to transport him in his own car to the hospital to see if they could save him but by the time he had gotten there JawMeighan was dead.”


It was no secret that Meighan’s life was under threat in the wake of Gladden’s murder.  The dramatic irony, sadly, is that he was killed around the same time that the teenager was being churched.  Despite the paradox, Gladden’s family maintains that they had nothing to do with the crime.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

“I know that he had gotten threats because he told me that there were threats out on both his life and the mother of the child, Marinette, and some of us told him that, you know, he should lay low but he basically told us that he have wahn life fu live and he noh feel he wahn punish fi something that he had no connection with.  I believe that the reason JawMeighan went in that truck that day instead of the cycle is precisely to not be too exposed but even that didn’t help.  And what is ironic is that the truck that JawMeighan has is the one that he purchased from Marlon Castillo which is the same truck that another cyclist of mine, Ariel Rosado, died in.”


Castillo, in speaking with News Five, said that he had only just offered to have Meighan relocated from the area he was living to avoid having him exposed to the violence plaguing his family.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

“I told him Jaw ah mek you wahn offa, mek wih find wah lee apartment eena my constituency eena Caribbean Shores.  I’ll pay the first three months and you take it from there, fi get you out of, ah noh like that yo deh da dah house pan Banak Street.  I’m afraid for you.  And he said, “Boss, dat da wah great idea.  Ah wahn tek up yo offa.”  You find it and I’ll pay for the first three months.  We never got to that.”


The loss of a dear friend and former Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic Champion has forced Castillo, an elected government official, to reconsider his stand on capital punishment.


Santiago Castillo Jr.

“I believe that we need to not only fix the justice system and improve our conviction rate but I believe that we have to put a deterrent to crime and my belief is that we should look and reconsider to reinstate the death penalty.  This thing has really gone too far and, you know, you can lose your life for no reason at all.  I’ll be the first to say it’s not only because of JawMeighan.  It’s not only because of, JawMeighan’s name was Ernest.  There was another Ernest that died exactly four months ago, Ernest ‘Dangalang’ Thurton.  It’s not just because of that, and for Elbert Pope, a previous cyclist that also rode for me, It’s for all the Belizeans that are getting killed.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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8 Responses for “Cycling Legend Executed in the City…”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    There is a cancer in the country of Belize: Belize City! Sad.

  2. Ali BaBarrow, sez it all says:

    Soon Belize will be able to put a bullet in Honduras head and claim #1 murderous country.

    With the leadership of Ali and the 40, we are getting what we deserve, death.

    At some time these scum will close out, move on, and Belize becomes Belice, Guatemala.

  3. Hope says:

    So sad to see how Belize is becoming. It’s time for the leaders and the people of our country to make better decisions. Parents guide your kids in the right path teach them about god and be their models. Leaders of Belize it’s time for you to show love for Belize. Think about the future of our country and not about your own future. Ask god for guidance to rule the country and not make your decisions. Stop thinking only about yourselves and do something to better Belize .

  4. dats just gud says:

    This is what I cant understand, the Police know who the Gangs are, some Big Business Men know, the Politicians know, the Lawyers know who these gangs are; so eradicate them…… simple……Belize small, everybody know every body business. we all know these shooters cannot buy the gun they are using to kill, somebody of high society gave it or made it possible for them to have access…..and again the Authorities know. So, this will remain a Cancer if we do not start to out the lights of the people responsible for this mess, from the Politician who is condoning all the way down to the trigger man.

    Simple a hand picked amount of GSU could do the job and bring back PEACE to BELIZE. COLD thoughts but its time and its necessary…………….

  5. Ixchel Pop says:

    it is a sad day indeed. How much longer before the PM does something serious? Are we waiting for a Min of gov to be gunned down before we act. Clearly the big issues for all parties coming to election is how are they going to solve the problem of crime.

  6. Too much says:

    Another very sad and tragic day in Belize with more of the same to come… I imagine the powers that be and especially the area representative will need to have more meetings with the gangs and offer more payouts….sigh. Can you say extortion/terrorism…? at the expense (physical, mental, emotional, financial,…) of the rest of us… Deepest condolences to the family and friends.

  7. H@tari says:

    We all know that the collapse of proper family structure, poverty, lack of education, & societal dysfunction has gotten us to this point. What can we do about it? First we have fix the criminal justice system, from the police on up. Just start over. We have to protect our asses from the bad guys, FIRST! Go back to the Crooks Report and actually put it into action with an earnest and determined intention. Bring in the needed foreign expertise and allow them to get the police department back online and functioning professionally. Example: the Nat’l K-9 Program. This unit is fully operational and working effectively with professionalism. Check it out. Now why can’t we do the same with the other units, CIB, MIT, Traffic, not to mention getting all those PC clerks on the street where they belong. They are police officers, not administrative assistants, contract it out civilian. Think about it!!



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