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Jan 2, 2015

B.S.C.F.A. C.E.O.’s House Torched

While the police started 2015 with a homicide in Teakettle Village, the National Fire Service also had its hands full for the start of the New Year. There were three fires – in Orange Walk, Benque Viejo Del Carmen and Punta Gorda; two were cases of arson. The most recent occurred this morning, in Orange Walk, where the home of Oscar Alonzo, the C.E.O. of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association went up in flames around one a.m.  But according to evidence at the scene, the fire was deliberately set after someone broke into the house through the kitchen window. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The New Year saw three separate fires in various municipalities across the country that have left three families without roofs over their heads. The most recent occurred this morning in the Orange Walk District. A concrete two-bedroom house in the San Lorenzo Housing Site which is owned by Orlin Pelayo went up in flames around one a.m. today. Firefighters were quick to put out the inferno and investigations have since revealed that the house was broken into and then set on fire.


Orin Smith

Orin Smith, Station Manager, National Fire Service

“On arrival on scene, flame was seen coming through the roof of a bungalow concrete structure. That fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished. Preliminary investigation reveals that evidence that building had been broken into through a kitchen window. The rear door also had signs of forced entry. The fire originated in the north-east bedroom of the structure. In that room observed was a mattress and some papers piled on the floor and apparently burning. That fire is classified as incendiary.”


The semi-furnished house was rented at the time to Oscar Alonzo, who is the C.E.O. of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Fortunately, Alonso was not at home at the time of the fire, but all the household items were destroyed by the blaze. According to Chairman Ezekiel Cansino, Alonso is out of the country on vacation.


Ezekiel Cansino

Ezekiel Cansino, Chairman, B.S.C.F.A.

“Our C.E.O.’s house that he is renting was set on fire—we don’t know yet what was the cause of the fire but it was burnt down this morning. I personally received information from the police that this has happened and up to now we are still waiting for the final report from the police and the investigation that they are doing.”


Duane Moody

“Now we understand that Mister Alonzo is not in country.”


Ezekiel Cansino

“Mister Alonzo went for vacation since the seventeenth of December and he is to come in on the twelfth of this month back to the office.”


Audrey Matura Shepherd

All indications are that the house was deliberately set on fire…but was the motive simply to destroy evidence of the break-in or was it to send a message in light of the current impasse in the sugar industry?


Audrey Matura Shepherd, Representative, N.T.U.C.B.

“I really don’t know if it is related or not. I know the home of Mister Alonso; the C.E.O. of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association rents was indeed this morning burnt down. I hope it has nothing to do with this issue and I say so because Mister Alonzo has publicly told the farmers that he did not agree with the agreement because he, as a technical professional, was giving his advice. But of course it’s the committee of management that at the end of the day decides and he takes instructions—he is just an employee. So I hope there is no relation.”


Ezekiel Cansino

“I don’t want to speculate on that. But indeed we regret what has happened and we hope not that this is the cause.”


The house was insured with RF&G Insurance. Duane Moody for News Five.

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 “B.S.C.F.A. C.E.O.’s House Torched”

  1. David says:

    The reason why many lawyers looses their case is because of statement, which is not factual, i.e.; Ms. Matura said; “I really don’t know if it is related or not. I know the home of Mister Alonso; the C.E.O. of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association rents was indeed this morning burnt down.” When in fact evidence by way of TV footage shows that the house was gutted out by fire, not burnt down as she said.

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