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Jan 29, 2019

A Machete Murder on the Outskirts of the Old Capital

A horrific chopping incident took place on Monday evening involving a current and an ex-employee. It ended with the murder of forty-three-year-old Guatemalan national, Elmer Yobany Salazar, who was a former employee of Belize Marine and Mooring Services located on the George Price Highway. Salazar went to the company grounds, reportedly intoxicated, and after a brief confrontation with a co-worker on duty; Salazar was viciously chopped almost severing his neck. The other workers fled at the sight of the murder, and so did the suspect who remains at large. Police say they have recovered a vehicle that may have been used as the getaway vehicle. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A deadly chopping incident on the grounds of Belize Marine and Mooring Services last evening is the latest homicide investigation to be undertaken by the Belize Police Department.  Forty-three-year-old Elmer Yobany Salazar lost his life after being viciously attacked with a machete.  The Guatemalan national reportedly ventured onto the property sometime before five p.m., when he got into a verbal exchange with an employee.  During the altercation a cutlass was produced and Salazar was hacked on the right side of his neck.


Jorge Gutierrez, Employee, BMMS

Jorge Gutierrez

“I just watched when the man chopped him da ih neck.  Di man drop and I run.”


It all happened here around closing time on Monday.  Jorge Gutierrez who is employed as a welder was preparing to leave when Salazar, whom he believes was intoxicated, showed up on the scene.


Jorge Gutierrez

“Di man come eena di compound, Elmer, and di man, I don’t know why deh shout out and everything, and di man chop di man and run.  Everybody run.  I cyant seh.”


Isani Cayetano

“You were saying that it appeared [as though] Elmer was drunk?”

Jorge Gutierrez

“Ih look so, but because ih voice sound different, noh normal.  Only dat I can seh.”


Salazar had held a job with the company, but when construction on the building ground to a halt in mid-January, he left.  When he returned and asked to be reinstated, he was seemingly under the influence.


Jorge Gutierrez

“The construction stopped and di man gone bout two weeks ago and di man try get di job again but di man come drunk.  I don’t know why the old man chop di man.  I can’t tell you why.”


In an official report sent out by police earlier today, investigators say that they responded to an incident at mile four and a half on the George Price Highway.  When they got there, they saw the Guatemalan laborer, who lives in the vicinity of Antelope Street Extension, hemorrhaging from chop wounds to the body.  They say that Salazar was provoking his former co-worker.


Isani Cayetano

“When Mr. Salazar got chopped, the person who chopped him in the neck jumped in Elmer’s vehicle and drove off?  What happened with the vehicle?”


Jorge Gutierrez

“He noh have a vehicle.”


Isani Cayetano

“He doesn’t have a vehicle?”


Jorge Gutierrez

“Yeah, he noh have a vehicle.  Elmer noh have vehicle, he come in a bus or, I don’t know, because when I see di man just, I watch when di man deal wid he.  I noh sih how di man come.”


Contrary to Gutierrez’s account, police say that the victim showed up in a Mazda pickup.  That vehicle was reportedly recovered on Central American Boulevard sometime thereafter.  According to Gutierrez, he doesn’t know much about the elderly suspect because he has only been working as a welder with BMMS for the past three months.


Jorge Gutierrez

“I noh know everybody because my job different.  My job da welding.  I do different things than all ah them.”


Police are still looking for a person of interest, despite withholding his identity until an arrest is made and charges are levied on him.

Isani Cayetano 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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