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Sep 8, 2014

Fisherman Gunned Down in San Pedro…

Rolando Espat Jr.

One man has been arrested and charged with the murder of a San Pedro resident. Rolando Espat Junior was executed early on Saturday morning reportedly by someone he knew and with whom he had a standing rivalry. Police believe Espat Junior’s murder may have a bearing to a previous murder in the island. Rolando is the third sibling of the Espat family to be murdered. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Rolando Espat Sr., Father of Deceased

“Right now I’m in the hospital right now and my son is in the morgue right now.  I can’t even go to his burial because I’m on medication right now.  So it’s very sad for me, you know, to deal with this but I can’t do better.”


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A volley of gunshots, as twenty-two-year-old Rolando Espat Jr. exited Jeemars Sports Bar in San Pedrito in the early hours of Saturday, found its mark on various parts of his body, including the chest, left cheek and right upper thigh.


Rolando Espat Sr.

“My son reached and he told me, “Dad, I want to borrow fifty dollars.”  Because he was drinking at a bar like two houses from my house, right.  Right in front of my house.  I tell him, “Weh di go ahn, why yoh noh gaan sleep yet we gwein work tomorrow.”  Ih seh, “Dad, ah deh wid wahn gial ah noh wahn stay bad, yo know.”  Ih sehe, “Lend mi fifty dollars and ah wahn gih yoh back tomorrow when we go work.”  And ih start telling me that he saw this guy Gabby Salazar.  He tell me this guy Gabby is watching me from right in front of the next house, in front of Mando, ih tell me.  “He’s stalking me from Mando’s yard,” he told me.  But I tell well noh go back da di spot…  When I gaan back gone sleep when I hyah bang, bang I jump outa my bed and I throw down myself pan di ground me and my wife and my lee baby, right.”


The cruel demise of the young fisherman, according to sources within the San Pedro Police Sub-formation, may have been retribution for a previous incident which occurred north of Ambergris Caye a few weeks earlier.  That punishment was exacted in blood when Espat was ambushed and dispatched by someone he knew.


Rolando Espat Sr.

Rolando Espat Sr.

“By the time I jump pan my bed I hear somebody done di knock pan my door, haad though.  Dah my neighbor, dah fu he friend weh mid deh along with him right, weh stay da my house.  He tell me, “Mr. Roli, Mr. Roli dehn just kill Rolito,” ih tell me.  I tell ahn, “what?”  I get up I frighten, eena my boxers I run pan di street and when I do so I gaan back gone put on mi pants and when I gaan my son deh motionless right deh, already dead.”


While Gabriel Salazar Villafranco has since been arrested and charged for the deadly shooting, it is believed that Espat’s death is directly connected to that of fifty-six-year-old Santiago Trapp.  His corpse was unearthed from a shallow grave on August eleventh in the Basil Jones area, following a police investigation into an arson report fourteen miles outside of town.  Trapp had been stabbed numerously, his neck partially severed, in what has been described elsewhere as a drug-related homicide.


Rolando Espat Sr.

Gabriel Salazar Villafranco

“It’s a rivalry thing weh dehn have between some families in San Pedro.  Dehn have the Edwards family, dehn have the Campos, the Salazar and the Swans, right.  Da wahn lee crowd a families weh dehn have wahn dispute fu something, I cyant even tell you bout that right but dehn noh agree with each others and then anywhere they meet up dehn threaten up words ahn thing, you know.”

Espat was killed approximately fifty feet away from his residence.  A black ribbon adorns the front of the family home.


Raphael Martinez

Raphael Martinez, Police Press Officer

“We have since arrested and charged twenty-seven year old Gabriel Salazar, a Belizean fisherman of San Juan Area, in San Pedro for the crime of murder.”


Sadly, it is the third son the family has lost to gun violence.  In June 2012, eighteen-year-old Charlie Espat and his cousin Eduardo Alamilla were reported missing.  Several days later their decomposing bodies were exhumed from a shallow grave near Santa Marta Village in Orange Walk.

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 “Fisherman Gunned Down in San Pedro…”

  1. Rod says:

    I keep telling all you tourist stay away from this island it is the island of death

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