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Jun 19, 2017

Vicious and deadly attack on young couple stuns Santa Familia village

Emy Guerra

It was a particularly violent weekend in the west. A horrific attack on a young couple has left the Santa Familia community in shock. The sixteen year old girl was slashed to throat and dumped in the Belize River; while her boyfriend was stabbed multiple times. What has left villagers stunned is that the accused are three men from the village – well known to the couple –with one of the suspects described as a relative of the man who was attacked. While no one seems to know what triggered the killing – the community is asking for justice for the young life lost. Andrea Polanco went west today and has the details.


Eleazer Eliseo Bacab, Stabbing Victim

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

First they attacked me. When Steven grabbed me and I drop. I dropped like this from the front and he put his hand around my neck and he stabbed me. I think when he see that I never died, he grabbed me with his two hands from there I get black out.”


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Eleazer Eliseo Bacab would not know that that ordeal would come when he first saw his attackers at the cemetery in Santa Familia Village on Friday night around eleven– and it would left 16 year old Emy Guerra dead and 22 year old Bacab seriously injured.The couple was at the burial ground talking when three men approached them – men they knew from the Village. The men would later follow them a short distance to the football field where the knife attack began. One of the attackers grabbed Bacab from behind and stabbed him multiple times to the back of the neck and his upper body. Guerra would run away screaming but her killers caught up with her; slash her throat and dump her in the river where she would later die. A search party located the body a few hours later on Saturday.


Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“He cut me right yah too.”



“He slit your throat?”


Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“He cut my neck. But I just the put my hand like this just a lee piece cut me right yah [neck] and one right yay [belly] and one right yah [chest] I nuh remember nothing that happened with Emy. When I wake up I was in the river and I tried to get up from deh and I tried to go to the first house that I see.”


Kathy Guerra

Kathy Guerra, Mother of Emy Guerra

“They killed her very cruel. She doesn’t deserve to die like this the way they killed her. I just want justice. They have to pay.”


“Where was she found?”


Kathy Guerra

“In the middle of the river. The same person that killed her confessed that they ker her they and tell the police that he cut her and she couldn’t die and so he took her to the middle of the river and drown her and then just let her go.”


The reason for the brutal killing? There appears to be more questions than answers – especially because it was committed by friends the couple grew up around. The authorities and the family don’t know what motivated the killing.


Andrea Polanco

“Are they saying why they did it?”


ASP Daniel Iche, San Ignacio Police Formation

ASP Daniel Iche

“No. They were – I guess they were just prowling in the area when they came they came up on these two individuals.”


Andrea Polanco

“Why do you think they killed her?”


Kathy Guerra

“No reason. I don’t know.”


Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“I don’t know why. I know them. I know the three of them. They talk to me.”


Andrea Polanco

“So, they are your friends?”


Eleazer Eliseo Bacab

“Yeah. I don’t know why they do me that.”


William Ical, Stepfather of Emy Guerra

“We nuh have no reason fi say like why it happened or why they attack ah.”


Andrea Polanco

“Did she tell you if these guys every followed them before or threatened them – id she tell anything like that to the family?”


William Ical

“Not once. She nuh got no problem with anybody. Like weh I tell yuh, she nuh got enemies at all. I really think the people weh attack ah dah nuh fi she enemies. Dah just timings weh she mi deh deh – she mi deh dah the wrong place at the wrong time.”



The sprightly teenager was always a happy girl. Her family says she will be remembered for her personality and her passion for life:


Kathy Guerra

“She had a dream that she was going to CET college and be a chef. She always tell me, ‘mom, I want be a chef.’”


William Ical

“Dah wah tragic thing to the family. It really hurt we a lot and we wah miss ah. She dah mi wah person – I nuh think she mi wah we remember ah in a sad way. She want we remember ah as wah happy person. When she mi living she dah mi wah happy person; always the smile and always playful.”


The crime has left the close knit community in shock – and over fifty of the residents showed up for support at the San Ignacio Police Station. With signs and prayers, they reached out to the grieving family.


Ricardo Roches

Ricardo Roches, Cousin of Emy Guerra/Resident of Santa Familia

“It is the first time in life we have experienced something like this in my village We would like to send a message to our community members and they are out here supporting the cause and we need to act now. From since that incident happened, the community is mourning; very sad. I, myself, very stressed out from the first day. I was there, present, when they took out the little girl from the river and the scene was so drastic, so terrible.”


Police have arrested and charged three men; Steven Manzanero; Armando Coleman and Reginald Patt. Manzanero was charged with attempted murder of Bacab and the murder of Guerra; while Coleman and Patt were charged with Guerra’s murder.


Kathy Guerra

“That will not be sufficient because they will just go to Hattieville there; eat drink and do what they doing. I don’t see that as justice.”


Andrea Polanco reporting 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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