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May 2, 2018

In San Pedro, In-Laws’ Argument Turns Deadly

Gaspar Varga

A San Pedro resident remains in police custody tonight, pending charges for the murder of his father-in-law in the San Mateo area of the island town. Gaspar Vargas was ran though with a knife and disemboweled on Monday afternoon inside his house. He was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic but died shortly after, while receiving treatment. News Five’s Duane Moody traveled to San Pedro today and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Police are waiting for directives to lay charges against a man detained for the mid-afternoon stabbing murder of Gaspar Vargas. Around one p.m. on Monday, the fifty-seven-year-old man was at his house in the San Mateo area of San Pedro when he was accosted by his son-in-law, thirty-five-year-old Jose Ricardo Mendoza, who also goes by the name Richard. Vargas received a large cut wound to the abdomen and was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, but perished within minutes. Alma Vargas says she was at work when she got the call that her husband was hurt and was being rushed to the clinic. By the time she got there, he was already dead.


Alma Vargas, Wife of Murder Victim [Translated]

“I was working when I received a call through messenger from my daughter Marianna, who said, “Mom, my father’s guts are out.” But I thought that because he was working and can’t work hard because he has a big hernia, I thought that it burst. So I called my boss and told her I had an emergency. She gave me permission and I went to the clinic. When I reached I didn’t see him, but a man told me that they were going to take him to Belize City. But they told me to sit and stay calm. I then found Marianna and I asked her what happened. And she said, “Mom, dad was stabbed.” And I asked wasn’t it the hernia that burst? And she said no, he was stabbed.”


Mendoza has a newborn with Vargas’ daughter and lived on the upper flat of the house. Police say that the argument on Monday was over an old misunderstanding during which Mendoza allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed his father-in-law. But could it have been prevented? Alma says that exactly one month ago, on Good Friday, Gaspar was badly beaten by Mendoza, who threatened to kill him. She intervened then, but didn’t report it because she didn’t think her son-in-law would have taken her husband’s life.


Alma Vargas

Alma Vargas [Translated]

“In my mind, I flashed back to the Easter holidays when my son-in-law beat up my husband. He told me that it won’t end like that. I didn’t tell anybody else what Ricardo had said. But I said that only Ricardo could have done it because I left both of them at home when I left and Ricardo was already drunk. She told me that when she returned home, my father was cleaning the house and I took him to eat tacos, but he stayed in Boca Del Rio. I asked him to come and eat lunch at one p.m.  She waited, she made fish for him, but he never came. She then received a call that her dad’s guts were out, but she too didn’t think it was a stabbing. Until she reached the polyclinic, she found out that he was stabbed and his guts were out. When we reached he was already dead.”


Alma Vargas says she is hurt because her husband of thirty-eight years was killed inside their home, where he should have been safe.


Alma Vargas [Translated]

“In my house; in my own house. All my life, my husband told me that he doesn’t drink outside because he doesn’t want anyone to kill him in public. In my house, no one will harm me. I buy my rum and I come home and drink and nothing will happen to me in my house. But he didn’t know that his killer was inside my house.”


News Five is informed that Mendoza has given police a caution statement on what transpired. 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 “In San Pedro, In-Laws’ Argument Turns Deadly”

  1. OriginalWoman says:

    So, so sad…My sincere condolences to this family. I hope the killer rots in jail!!!

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