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Nov 24, 2014

Career Panamanian Diplomat Murdered in Belmopan

Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford

Tonight, police has one man detained for the vicious murder of a senior career diplomat from Panama, and we are told he is a close friend. The bloody body of Charge’ d’Affaires Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford, was found at a remote location just outside of Belmopan on Sunday evening by a church-goer. His throat was reportedly cut, perhaps at the location where he was discovered about a mile off the Hummingbird Highway near an old quarry. The brutal murder of a very popular career diplomat has shaken the consular corps in the country and has spurred an intensive investigation. In Panama, the president has made a statement in the horrible murder, but here, there are few details at this point, as medical personnel conduct a post-mortem examination to try to get some answers. This is the first diplomat to be murdered in Belize. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan this morning and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

This area is informally known as La Choza, for a popular bar just off the road. It is about a mile from here that the body of sixty-four year old Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford was found at around four on Sunday. It’s far off the beaten trail, a dirt road leading to a quarry, used mainly by immigrant farmers working the land. Because the body was found close to dark on Sunday, early this morning investigators and forensic personnel scoured the area for evidence.


Via Phone: Ret’d. Col. George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“They found him lying on the ground with apparent cut wounds to his neck, the top of his head and above his left eyebrow. From initial investigations that Police have done, it reveals that Stanford left his residence at about nine am yesterday driving his white Nissan X-trail with diplomatic license plates, and at about four pm yesterday his body was found by a male person who was walking within the area.”


Stanford was found completely clothed, but up to news time his white Nissan has not been discovered. Police at this time do not know if he was lured to his death, or was in the area for some reason when death found him. There are only bloodstains, and a rock with what looks like bloodstains on it. Behind the spot where he was found is only a picado trail leading into the bush. At around eleven this morning, when Police had already been on the ground for two hours, two American investigators arrived to walk the area. It is a sensational murder which has left a very senior member of the diplomatic corps dead, in sensational circumstances.


George Lovell

Via Phone: Ret’d. Col. George Lovell

“The Police will do all that they can, both the Criminal Investigation Branch and the forensics, to try and get to the bottom of this heinous crime. They will certainly leave no stone unturned. They will look at all angles and try to interview anyone who they feel is a suspect in this particular investigation. Since it is a diplomat I expect that our Ministry of Foreign Affairs will get in touch with the Panamanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – which I know that they have done already because I have had the discussion with C.E.O. Lawrence Sylvestre, who is the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and they in turn will arrange for at some stage the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak with his counterpart in Panama. That will be done when the official report has been passed from the Police Department to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”


Police in Belmopan have declined to speak, and the Police Press Office has stated that all queries must be directed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That Ministry is awaiting the findings of the post-mortem examination. When the official report is handed over, then information channels should open. The Ministry of National Security will also then hope to reassure those within the diplomatic and consular corps that the crime is not one in which they are targets, but violence of another nature completely.


Via Phone: Ret’d. Col. George Lovell

“We express our sincere regrets and condolences to the Panamanians and to the family of Jose Rodrigo de la Rosa Stanford. I have worked closely with him. We were together just Thursday night when we had our democratic security meeting for the Vice-Ministers of SICA. He represented Panama, and I had a reception in hour of the group which lasted close to midnight. And he was one of a few others who were the late night group which stayed until almost midnight when I left them, and he was in good spirits at that time. So I certainly would like to express my condolences and the Ministry of National Security’s condolences on the passing of Jose Stanford. He was a good friend of the Ministry and of Belize.”


Stanford is a diplomat in high standing in Panama, with a career spanning thirty-nine years. We are told that he will be cremated here, and his ashes will be returned to Panama on the presidential plane sent to Belize for that purpose. Mike Rudon for News Five.


Up to news time, the results of the post-mortem examination have not been officially released. The man in custody, allegedly a close friend of De la Rosa, was detained only a few minutes ago by Belmopan Police. His missing vehicle has not yet been located.

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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3 Responses for “Career Panamanian Diplomat Murdered in Belmopan”

  1. Timber says:

    Now we have gotten to a new stratosphere. Just returned from visiting Belize and Belmopan and I was taken into certain areas in Belmopan by a friend. Some of the areas were dilapidated and I asked about the influx of what obviously was immigrants , most likely illegal, that I saw in the areas. We spoke about the probability of high crime in those areas. The borders of Belize are so porous it’s not funny. Many of these people in those areas in Belmopan, Cayo, PG are seasoned criminals. We need to boost up our immigration department so we can start expelling these folks.

  2. reatph says:

    WHO CALLED FOR AMERICAN INVESTIGATORS???????????????????????????????????

  3. Funny Death says:

    Was this a gay-lover thing like Carlos Espat’s murder?

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