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Dec 15, 2014

1 Man Detained for Double Homicide in Corozal

Fernando Rivas

There was a double murder in Paraiso, Corozal District over the weekend which has all the signs of a crime of passion. The mother of a four-year old child was hacked to death; the twenty-one year old woman who has had a troubled past, was along with her boyfriend of three weeks when they met a most brutal death. Her ex-boyfriend, a sixty-seven year old Salvadoran, allegedly attacked the couple in the house they were living. Family relatives say that Heidi Atherly and Fernando Rivas had been threatened before by her ex, who is in police custody. Duane Moody reports from Paraiso Village.


Duane Moody

“Three murders in five days up north… There was a double murder in the Corozal District, it occurred in the village of Paraiso. Forty- nine year old Fernando Rivas and his girlfriend, twenty-one year old Heidi Atherly, were viciously killed on Sunday morning at their house in the village.  It is believed that an obsessed ex-lover of Atherly hacked the couple.”


This small concrete structure in an isolated area of the village was where Rivas and Atherly were living together for the past three weeks. The prime suspect is her sixty-seven year old ex-boyfriend who allegedly pounced on them at around six in the morning. In what is believed to be a crime of passion, the chopped the couple was hacked to death…both were almost decapitated.


Clemente Barrera

Clemente Barrera, Witness
“I woke up about 5:30 the morning and I heard the woman was fighting with the man. Then I heard her shouting for help and by the time we came around on bicycle, the two were already dead…chopped to death. We then went to the police station and the police reached about an hour after. When we saw the man, his heart was still beating. I saw that the woman had chopped wounds all over the face and her clothes was bloody; she was still breathing too. The body of the man was inside the house and the woman was on the ground by the plantain trees.”


Emir Lizarraga, Cousin of Murder Victim

“I didn’t know what was happening; we thought that they catch someone with drugs or something. When I went to the shop to buy groceries, I get to know the news. It was a big impact for me because we didn’t expect that to happen.”


Rivas and his killer were friends; he met Atherly about three months ago. She was initially in a relationship with the suspect for two months before breaking up with him and moving in with Rivas. Her cousin, Emir Lizarraga, says that Atherly, who is living with a disability, was threatened by the suspect some time ago.


Emir Lizarraga

Emir Lizarraga

“My mother took her and brought her to live with her and she stayed her for almost a month and due to the fact that she didn’t want to do anything, we had a quarrel with my mother and she said she was going to live with a guy. We didn’t know which guy and when we see, she started to take her clothes and she came here with Mister Antonio. She stayed here for a couple days and she said she wanted to be here with Mister Antonio.  She didn’t move out yo know…the curious thing is that Mister Fernando moved from this place and went to live over that side. We noticed that Mister Fernando usually passed here and I wanted to know what’s happening because he had nothing to do here once he left.  I get surprised to know where she is. I thought she went back to Belize to see her teacher that she had at the Freedom House. But .then we heard that she was with Mister Fernando at his house. And she stayed there like three weeks until when this thing happen.”


Police have since detained a Salvadoran national pending further investigation.


Emir Lizarraga

“Before this incident happened, she already gone to the police station…Mister Fernando and Heidi gone to the police station—I get to know that from her own mouth. She told me that Mister Antonio went to her house and threatened them that he was going to kill them…that he was going to chop them; that was the correct words that she said to the guys. So we believe that they went to report it because if something happened to us, you done know the man responsible. What the people are saying is that Mister Antonio got jealous or was obsessed with the girl and I think that’s the main reason why he did that.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


The third murder occurred last week Tuesday on College Road in Corozal Town. Twenty-nine year old Mark Massam Junior was also hacked to death by Carlos Cassanova, who was shot to the legs by police in order to subdue him. Cassanova remains hospitalized under police guard until he recovers, after which a psychological assessment will be done. 

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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