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Jan 2, 2015

Resort Manager Executed on New Year’s Day

Yaima Duany Ledesma

The second murder in two days, and the first of the New Year, happened at a resort in the village of Teakettle, in the Cayo District. It was a bizarre, broad daylight, cold-blooded execution of thirty-year-old resort manager Yaima Duany Ledesma. Reports are that two men, dressed neatly, walked casually into the bar at Dream Valley Resort and ordered two drinks. They asked employees for Ledesma, and when she walked in, one of the men allegedly shot her – one bullet to the body and one to the head before they fled the scene. The tragic murder has left employees and friends of the victim shocked and frightened, as police try to piece together the pieces of this strange puzzle. Mike Rudon headed west this morning and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Dream Valley Resort is located a little over a mile off the George Price Highway in the village of Teakettle. Sited on the banks of the Belize River, it is a beautiful, tranquil, well tended resort, popular with tourists. And there were tourists there on New Year’s Day when manager Yaima Duany Ledesma was shot down in the bar of the establishment. At a little before four that afternoon, two men parked in the lot of the resort before walking casually to the bar, passing tourists along the way. They entered and ordered two stouts, but it wasn’t liquor that they were really after.


Howell Gillett

Supt. Howell Gillett, O.C., Belmopan Police

“What the investigation is showing at this time is that both persons entered the establishment. They sat as normal patrons and asked for the manager. It is when the manager approached them that she was shot at five times, two of which caught her…one in the head and one in the upper part of the body. It shows, based on what we have in evidence so far, that she was the specific target because her name was called and she responded and that’s when the incident took place. No one else was injured during the incident.”


The men fled the scene, leaving a gravely injured Ledesma still breathing, but mortally wounded. She was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital, but succumbed.


Voice of: Relative of Murder Victim

“I heard the shot and I came running from the room. They told me they shot Yaima and when I found her, she was on the floor. It’s unbelievable that something like that would happen here. She came here to help to develop the country, not for them to kill her. I hope that justice exists in this country and that those who are guilty pay for what they have done. And not come out after only fifteen days or a year in jail. I want them to pay with their lives for what they have done because they are killers….Killers!”


The bullet-holes left in the floor and bar, along with bloodstains on the verandah, are grim reminders of the terrible tragedy. There is much speculation on the motive behind the murder including a personal relationship gone sour or an old employee with a beef. But until this crime is solved, those at the resort are living in fear. The men who murdered Ledesma wore no masks that day and were not hesitant to kill in front of witnesses. That means that they would likely not be afraid to do it again.


Voice of: Friend of Murder Victim

“All of us are in danger because when they came to kill her, there were people in the resort; guests that had just arrived that she had brought here. They came here blatantly and pretended that they wanted beers, but they were really waiting for her…waiting to kill her.”


Supt. Howell Gillett

“So far we have two suspects that we are looking for. There was a getaway vehicle, the description of which I will withhold at the moment due to the nature of the investigation. There is nobody in custody at the present time, but we continue to investigate, and I am very certain that we will bring closure to this case very soon.”


Yaima Duany Ledesma was born in Cuba but grew up in Switzerland. She had been in Belize for three years managing the resort. Mike Rudon for News Five.


The post-mortem examination on Ledesma has been postponed until her mother arrives from Switzerland in a few days.

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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7 Responses for “Resort Manager Executed on New Year’s Day”

  1. Rod says:

    Might be just another gov hit wake up belizeans wake up

  2. liberty and freedom says:

    The Dream Valley Resort is 3 miles from the Western Highway.

    There are many ex-employees who have a grudge against her. Some are justified, some are not.
    Great personality with guests; dictatorial with employees.

  3. Spike says:

    What a beautiful young girl. I am sorry for her family. Belize has become a murderous society. If you live in Belize, get out while you can. If you’re thinking about settling in Belize, forget about it.

  4. Leo sabal says:

    Is there a very logical reason not to release the make of the vehicle what if I saw the vehicle and occupants. Nb justice delayed is justice denied. Try offering a reward get the communities involved this business woman was an asset to your society hope for a speedy and successful investigation

  5. Teacher says:

    There is one thing I like about Spike’s comment; and that is that is keep all persons thinking like him out of our great country.

  6. liberty and freedom says:

    Mike Rudon

    What happened to this story??? Anyone caught? Did you get pressure from the Tourism Board or GOB to squash the continuing story. People in that area are concerned about two killers running loose……

  7. Henry says:

    This is a tragical way to start the year, I hope they’ll find the criminal in this Belize resort as soon as can.

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