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Jul 8, 2019

June 2019, Most Murderous Month So Far

June proved to be one of the most violent months in the past three years. As many as seventeen individuals were murdered in June 2019.  The year 2016 saw twelve murders and then in 2017, there were thirteen; but in 2018, the number of homicides dipped to five.  The police are yet to release their crime report for the first six months of this year, but aside from June, the murder count, according to our research, shows a fall from the 2018 numbers with the Belize District reporting the highest number of killings. News Five’s Duane Moody crunches the numbers.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The month of June has easily become the most murderous month so far for 2019. A review of our statistics shows that there were seventeen murders in June alone for this year; it is the highest count followed by January which recorded twelve. March, which for the past two years was the most murderous month of the year, only shows ten homicides, which is a big improvement from last year’s whopping twenty-one for that month. But back to June. In 2016 and 2017, it recorded twelve and thirteen murders, respectively, and then in 2018, there were only five homicides. So what triggered the large number this year? It started with the triple homicide at the home of Alarice Andrewin between miles ten and eleven on the George Price Highway on June fourth. Andrewin, Maria Juarez and Vidal Antonio Yuman were bounded and shot dead inside the house.


Hilberto Romero

Supt. Hilberto Romero, CIB, Belize City [File: June 4th, 2019]

“Around 3:00 p.m. police responded to a call at mile ten on the George Price Highway. It is a residential area; one house is situated in this particular area. Police entered the house where they found the lifeless body of three persons inside one of the bedrooms of the house.”



“Now do we know the names of the victims?”


Supt. Hilberto Romero

“We have identified one of the victims as Alarice Andrewin, a teacher, who has been identified as one of the deceased.”


The triple homicide was followed a week later by a quintuple murder near Swallow and Mapp Cayes and a double murder in the lagoon off San Pedro. In both murders at sea, the seven men were on fishing trips when they came under attack. It threw national security into emergency mode and the Police Department in conjunction with the Belize Coast Guard stepped up patrols along the coast and within Belize’s territorial waters.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police [File: June 24th, 2019]

“And so, just as we did with the triple murder earlier in the month, we are ensuring that we deal with these investigations in the most expedient and professional manner. At the end of the day, we believe that the families of those persons who had died deserve closure and deserve justice.”


Greg Soberanis

Lt. Com. Greg Soberanis, Belize Coast Guard [File: June 24th, 2019]

“It’s a huge area, it is a vast area, so it requires strategic planning in how you deploy your assets and personnel and considering certain factors as you do you operational design for your area of operation to have effectiveness and efficiency.”


Meanwhile there were several other violent crimes that ended fatally. Those include the killing of Ana Villaneuva and Jesus Mossiah in Corozal. Several persons have been charged for manslaughter in respect of those crimes. The most notable, however, for which no one has been charged is the case on the death of Nestor Vazquez Junior, who was beaten to death inside a prison cell by another inmate, who is said to have been mentally ill and was in custody for having stabbed a psychiatric nurse two days earlier.


Jules Vasquez

Jules Vasquez, Brother of Deceased [June 10th, 2019]

“He was mercilessly beaten in that cell.  A very large swath of blood.  They then bungled, serial errors, they moved with no urgency towards the cell where they had been notified that, just voices from in the cell, “Fight! Fight!”  That kinda of thing.  They responded with complete, in a blasé manner, just lasing into the thing like “wow, weh di go on.”  No urgency to save a dying man‘s life.  He was removed from the cell, limbs flailing, unconscious but bleeding, bludgeoned and he was then, without stretcher, put into a police mobile. No driver for that mobile; change him from that mobile to another mobile, time is being lost, blood is being lost.  He is dying and they then took him to K.H.M.H. after that series of errors where he was eventually, in quite short order, taken from the trauma room to the I.C.U. and he died in the I.C.U. about sixty hours later or fifty-five hours later.”


Chester Williams [File: June 10th, 2019]

“The police department considered the actions of the police who were working the cell block, as well as that of the executive duty officer on duty at the time, to be an act of gross negligence in that they failed to ensure that these two prisoners who both have some mental disability were kept in the same cell detained. We have our protocols that govern the cell block area and from what the investigation is showing so far, there was a clear breach of our cell block protocol and so the officers who were on duty at that particular time have since been placed on disciplinary charges and have been interdicted from duty on half pay.”


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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