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May 11, 2004

City under siege: 3rd murders in 3 days

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Three days, three murders, one city. And it’s not Kingston, Jamaica; Medellin, Colombia; or South Central, L.A.. News 5′s Jacqueline Woods has the latest.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

There were no blood stains to indicate that a major crime had just occurred but the shooting death of sixty-six year old Hilberto Aragon, a resident of Lake Independence, has rocked not only his neighbourhood, but the community on a whole. Aragon is the third small businessman killed in three consecutive days in Belize City. The murder occurred just after midday out side the Ying Ying Shop situated behind the government administration building on Mahogany Street. Aragon, who has been doing business with the Belize Marketing Board for the last three years, was on his routine rice delivery route when he made a brief stop at the grocery store to purchase chips. But as he walked away from the building two masked young men walked up to him and shot him dead.

G. Michael Reid, Police Press Officer

“He was accosted by two male individuals who were wearing masks at the time, and who, as far as we understand, did rob him of some money, and in the process of robbing him, did fire a single shot which proved to be fatal.”

Aragon, described as a hard working family man, was a regular customer at the Belize Marketing Board. This morning he had picked up ninety-five sacks of rice and was delivering to various stores when he was killed. Managing Director of the newly renamed Belize Market and Development Corporation, Carlos Moreno, says his office is saddened over the senseless murder of one of their clients.

Carlos Moreno, Managing Dir., Belize Market/Development Corp.

“Sometimes three times per the day, and he runs one of the routes that we have for the delivery of rice and other products. He is basically one of our best clients here at the marketing board.?

Jacqueline Woods

?And he was just there this morning.?

Carlos Moreno

?He was just here this morning, like every morning. He would be one of the first clients to be here waiting for us. He?s just a hard worker, it?s so sad that things could happen to these kinds of people.”

An obviously distraught Bernadina Aragon says it?s not the first time that they tried to kill her husband.

Bernadina Aragon, Wife

“First time, we mi live dah Vernon Street, they put the knife dah his ribs then they put the gun yah (points to head) just because I mi deh dah back inside, when he holler I come out and they run.”

Aragon cried out to authorities to catch those responsible for her husband’s murder.

Bernadina Aragon

“The government has to start to heng them people because they take weh people life without a cause. This government too sleck, excuse fi say the word like that. I always say it when I watch the news and I see them do these things, this human rights get inna every damn thing. Human rights, I noh seh human rights noh good, human rights good in one way, but when it come to punishment, that dah like if you have your children, you love your children, you need to discipline them. But when they do something, punish them the right way.”

Carlos Moreno

“Well it’s worrying, it?s really worrying. We, for the last year or so had had to increase our security in all our depots in the country and we used to have security at night, now we have security during the day and we have alarm systems in all our places that are monitored by security companies.”

Today Police Press Officer G. Michael Reid told News 5 that the police are in the process of heightening security on the city streets, but appealed to the public to do their part as well.

G. Michael Reid

“The Commissioner has already expressed a desire to do so and we believe you will see more police officers on the streets. We certainly are gonna have more people, more detectives out there, more undercover people working. And again the hotline is open, 922, we are asking people to please give us information, and if they see anything in any area that looks suspicious, give as a call, let us know.”

Authorities note that, unlike the typical city murder victim, the last three targets of deadly violence have been mature or elderly citizens with no ties to drugs or gangs. Jacqueline Woods reporting for News 5.

Up to news time police had no suspects in custody.

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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