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Jul 29, 2020

Hundreds Attend Vigil for ‘Breda O’ in Ladyville

The Ladyville community continues to reel over the murder of businessman Orin Velasquez. His life was taken for about two hundred dollars by robbers who shot and killed him inside his business ‘Breda O’s Pizza’ in Ladyville on Monday night. Since then, there has been an outpouring of support as Velasquez was a well-known and active member of the community.  The residents are calling for the arrest of the person or persons responsible for the senseless murder. On Tuesday night, the residents came together to hold a vigil in the memory of Velasquez. News Five’s Andrea Polanco has that story.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

…and hundreds of residents gathered in Ladyville on Tuesday night to also offer comfort, through kind words and gestures, to the family of Orin Velasquez. The well-known and loved owner and operator of Bredda O’s Pizza was robbed and murdered inside his business on Monday night.

But the grief and loss are also shared by the community where Velasquez has touched many lives – and during the vigil those who knew him best highlighted his contributions to the community – as well the dreams he had to impact more young lives:


Michael Hutchinson, Resident, Ladyville

“A man that desired to do an honest trade and his life was cut short. An offence has happened. Many times when criminals think to take the life of one person, they do not see the bigger picture.  Our brother has touched us. They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. And truly he has touched us with his pizza. I guess that is why all of you are out here tonight; because you have been touched in more than one way.”


Alex, Resident, Resident, Ladyville

“I know that we said that Breda O was a mentor, I was one of the youth that he mentored. Growing up, sometimes I used to feel timid and I couldn’t do certain things and I met Bredda O and he taught me that confidence will get you a long way in life.”


Angel Espat, Businessman

“I know each and everyone out here today , more than once, have answered to this question – weh we wah eat tonight? Bredda Os. So, Bredda will live in our house forever; live in our hearts forever.”


Ahmad El-Amin, Friend of Deceased

“We were attempting to start a movement for Ladyville, first through sports, and that is why we started the competition and then through education. His intention was for us to go and have some impact in all the schools of Ladyville, whether it be through education, whether it be through mentoring. His dreams were also that we may come together and get scholarships for Ladyville people.”


….and the villagers want justice for this young and productive life that was cut too short. Up to news time, no one has been arrested for Velasquez’s murder. But Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the villagers that while police officers are hard at work to find the killer or killers responsible, they need information from the public.


Orin Velasquez

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“We have received a number of leads that we have been following all day today, or from last night. Our investigators are still out in the field working, trying to find those persons who we believe are responsible. But we do need your help to be able to ensure that we gather the relevant evidence that we need to prosecute them if and when they are found. But let me give you my assurance as the Commissioner of Police, we will not rest until we can find the person or persons responsible for the untimely death of Mr. Orin and bring those persons to justice. [Clapping]”


Commissioner Williams announced that GSU officers are now on the ground in the Ladyville to help tackle the crime – but that they are also going to be weeding out those bad cops – all in an effort to restore peace in Ladyville.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams

“The police is not without fault too, you know? Because you know what, we have many police officers, including Ladyville, who come to work and they see no evil, they hear no evil but they do evil. And I have said to Mr. Hemsley, I need a list by tomorrow of all the police officers who do evil and I am going to get rid of them out of Ladyville. (Cheering)  Effective tonight, we have a team of GSU officers who are now in Ladyville. And you know what; I am not going to entertain no call saying Mr. Williams, GSU bruk down mi door. Because you know, GSU knows where to go.    Our important mission is ensure that we restore that sense of safety and security that you are accustomed to and, believe me I am going to do my utmost best to give you the security that you so rightly deserve.”


….and to memorialize Orin Velasquez’s life in a special way – Minister Patrick Faber, a resident of Lord’s Bank and customer of Breda O’s, told the Ladyville residents he is committed to getting Bredda O recognized for his contributions to sports, youth mentorship and community development by way of a meritorious service award.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I want to say to the family as well that I will submit his name for this year’s September Celebrations honors, posthumously, but we will attempt to convince the community that he is deserving of a meritorious service award for this country. I am sure that nobody can dispute that. I am sure that his contributions to sporting; his contributions to community; his contributions to entrepreneurship. His being a mentor to so many of our young people, especially to our young males, is a testimony that he deserves such an honor. I will fight and propose and champion his receiving a meritorious award from the Government and People of Belize.”


As the community came together over the loss of Orin Velasquez, the family was presented with a drawing of the slain Ladyville resident.  The villagers lit candles, prayed, and committed to working together as they remembered Velasquez, as a family man; champion of youth and sports for community development; and hard working business owner. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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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