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Apr 2, 2020

Popular Haitian Cabbie is Murdered in Ladyville

All across the country, people are hunkering down to avert the spread of COVID-19. But in Ladyville, a criminal was on the loose. A Haitian cab driver was murdered and his body found early this morning at his house in the Milpa area. Raymond Cherestal made Belize his home since 1991 and while he is well-known, the motive for his execution is not. One of his friends says the cabbie had problems but the nature of those, he did not confirm. From all accounts, Cherestal lived alone since his girlfriend lives overseas.   Here is News Five’s Isani Cayetano with a report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Fifty-seven-year-old Raymond Cherestal, a former cabdriver, was found murdered on the doorsteps of his Ladyville residence this morning.  Sometime around six a.m., police were called to the far end of Milpa Street where they observed the lifeless body of the Haitian national.  A gunshot wound was visible in his head.  It is unclear what happened overnight that resulted in the fatal shooting.

 

Voice of: Charles Noel, Friend of Deceased

“It was like Sunday or Monday, I saw him at the ATM in Belize City and I called him and I said, “Well make sure you get enough money for me too.”  He said, “Well, alright.”  So when he came he gave me twenty dollars and he said Charles, they have a nickname they always call me, “Tapau”.  He said, “Tapau, I want to see you, you know.  Come to my house.  Here goes twenty dollars, put [in] gas and come see me, I want totalk to you.”

 

But Charles Noel did not show up.  In fact, that was the last time he saw his friend alive.  Both men have known each other since Cherestal moved to Belize from Haiti in 1991.  He is stumped as to why anyone would want to attack and kill Raymond Cherestal.

 

 

Voice of: Charles Noel

“Really I don’t know what it is that he wanted to speak with me about, but he said he got lotta problem, but I don’t know what kind of problems he was going through and what it is that, you know, he was going through.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“So how did you come about learning of what happened here this morning?”

 

Voice of: Charles Noel

“Well, one of my Haitian friends, Mr. D’usse gave me a call this morning and said that if I heard what happened.  I said no, I didn’t hear anything.  He said that they just called him and said that they shot Ramon.  And so I decided to come to Ladyville to find out what’s going on with the man.”

 

Upon his arrival, Noel met a team of Scenes of Crime technicians processing the area outside of Cherestal’s home.

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is your belief may have happened here this morning?”

 

Voice of: Charles Noel

“Well, really and truly I can’t tell you what really happened.  I don’t know what it is that the man was going through.  I don’t know if he had any beef with anybody, if he had any problems with anyone.  They said they found the man laying down with a gunshot in the head.”

 

According to Noel, his friend was a well-known taxi man in Belize City from back in the day.

 

Voice of: Charles Noel

“In Belize City, the man was well-known because a lot of old taxi drivers from back then because we’re here in Belize from 1991 and from the time there when we were together and ran taxi.  Lotta people know him backa Martin’s, everybody knows him because he used to run dollar van that he linked with a lot of people back there.  Chinese, Belizeans, Spanish, lotta people know him.”

 

Cherestal’s body was transported to the K.H.M.H., pending an autopsy.  A criminal investigation is underway. 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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