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Jan 28, 2019

Marcos is Marked for Death in Apparent Gang Rivalry

Marcos Zelaya,

Gun violence over the weekend, claimed the life of two persons and left two others injured.  The violence started on Saturday morning and is believed to be gang-related in retaliation for the murder of Backalands Crips leader Joseph Babb. Police are on high alert to avert further bloodshed. Twenty-one-year-old Marcos Zelaya, his father and other relatives were on Complex Avenue when Marcos came under attack. The gunman rode up in a car and blasted him on the shoulder and arm. Marcos survived the bullets and remains hospitalized. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A daring attempt on the life of twenty-one-year-old Marcos Zelaya, orchestrated in the wake of the New Year’s Day murder of a well-known street figure in Belize City, is believed to have been an act of reprisal.  On Saturday morning, Jose Zelaya Sr. was walking along with his relatives in the vicinity of Complex Avenue when a vehicle appeared on the scene and began following his son.  What happened next took the unsuspecting father by surprise.


Jose Zelaya Sr., Father of Shooting Victim

“Me, my two nephews and my niece leff from my ma house heading towards my home.  My son stop da di corner ah Mahogany and Complex and by tacos and that da weh paat dehn follow he from.  My son stop and talk to me fi wahn brief moment.  I sih di vehicle, but di amount ah people weh deh out pan wahn Saturday morning, [ah] neva expect it.  As soon as my son ride weh, di vehicle swerve weh from me, cut off my son and that da weh paat ih happen.”


A passenger inside the vehicle reportedly leaned forward and fired multiple shots, injuring Zelaya in the right upper shoulder and right upper back.


Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“He was admitted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in a critical condition and he still remains in a critical condition.”


According to Zelaya’s father, he was targeted as a result of a gang rivalry that is once again brewing in Lake Independence.  The beef, he says, came about after Joseph Babb was gunned down on January first.


Jose Zelaya

“My son shooting da mi wahn planned hit by the BLC, the Backalands Crips.  Dis da mi wahn planned hit and I di seh it because I know it and dehn know it.  My son shooting had to do with di murder of Joseph Babb and I wahn mek di nation, di police department, di media house and everybody listen to weh I got fi seh because I very upset.”


Jose Zelaya Sr.

Babb, who was acknowledged as the reputed leader of BLC, was shot and killed a long way from home on New Year’s Day, as he was socializing with friends and family in the Coral Grove neighborhood.  Assistant Superintendent Alejandro Cowo speaks on the likelihood of both incidents being related.


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Well we suspect that it is of the different rivalries and different shootings that have been happening in that area and there’s a possibility yes, that that is one of the motives.”


Zelaya continues his account of what happened that morning.


Jose Zelaya

“I look round when di car swerve from me.  I had to turn round because I had two kids with me, I dah wahn ol’ street man.  When I turn round, di first thing I sih da wahn man shub ihself from behind di driver’s seat and give my son one shot eena di back ah ih head.  Dat da di first shot weh my son receive eena di back ah ih head and ih drop pan ih face.  Di vehicle come to wahn complete stop and di gunman shub out half ah ih body and shub three more shot pan mi son.  At that moment, I reacted and I run behind di vehicle.  Di vehicle take off, but God dah wahn wonderful man because dat da mi di moment when God expose everything.”



“What does that mean though?”


Jose Zelaya

“I sih ahn and he know I sih ahn.”


Police are bracing for a possible retaliation, despite Zelaya openly saying that he will not avenge his son’s shooting.


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, there’s a high tension of probable retaliation, hence the reason police is vigilant in that area.  Police are patrolling mainly that Complex area, the Jones Avenue, Lawrence Avenue and other streets where it is traversed by these criminals, noh.”


Jose Zelaya

“I personally noh have no retaliation fi do gainst dehn.  None.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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