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Aug 13, 2019

Trio Freed of Firearm Related Charges in Benque; Guatemalan is Re-detained

Hurl Hamilton

Back in mid-February, two Belizeans and a Guatemalan national were arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being charged jointly for possession of prohibited firearms and ammunition.  Guatemalan Jorge Luis Reyes Villeda and Belizeans Edgar De La O and a seventeen-year-old minor, both from Benque Viejo del Carmen, were busted by police with an AK-47 assault rifle, as well as a Galil weapon inside a Range Rover outside a nightclub in Benque. It’s been six months since the trio was busted, but when the case concluded today, the Senior Magistrate found all three defendants not guilty. But that freedom was short-lived for the Guatemalan national who was re-detained as he walked out of the courtroom.


Hurl Hamilton, Attorney

“What happened is that the prosecution called four witnesses and for whatever reason, those witnesses were unable to get any firearm they alleged was involved in the incident into evidence. So there was no firearm, no ammunition into evidence and at the close of the prosecution case, I submitted a no case submission. The senior magistrate agreed with my submission and the senior magistrate found all three defendants not guilty.”



“Now as I understand it, these guys have already embraced their freedom and was it that as they were stepping out of the court, the Guatemalan was rearrested.”


Hurl Hamilton

“Yes, unfortunately, the Guatemalan was stepping out of court and for some reason or the other, the police decided to re-arrest him. The other two Belizeans are out; the Guatemalan is detained at Benque Viejo Police Station. And from what I was told, is that police is contemplating to reinstitute the very same charges the senior magistrate found them not guilty for.”

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