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Oct 13, 2020

28 Inmates Escape from the Belize Central Prison!

At news time, there are at least twenty-four prisoners on the lam; one has been killed and three have been recaptured in an operation in which police and the B.D.F. have pulled out all stops to get them back.  The biggest prison break took place on Monday, a public and bank holiday.  It started after one o’clock when a prison guard was lured into a cell, disarmed and bound. The mastermind is said to be Carlos Montejo, a prison trustee who was able to gain the confidence of prison guards and was known to be able to handle high-powered firearms.  He is believed to have been assisted by Elser Oseguera and Joel Sierra. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo has the details of the brazen prison break.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

It was about six o’clock on Monday evening that the final step of a plan to break free from the Belize Central Prison was set in motion. More than two dozen inmates- twenty eight of them broke free under the cover of darkness and into the bushes. The men, considered armed and dangerous, escaped through the rear side of the prison compound where there are no cameras located.  The daring escape is unprecedented and was well thought off. This escape may have been in the works for a week or so, when inmate Carlos Montejo was made a trustee. He is now being considered one of three masterminds behind the biggest jailbreak in recent years.


Virgilio Murillo

Virgilio Murillo, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation

“To be honest I don’t know what went wrong but I know when we pick trustees we have to look like that, criminal history, characters and those kinds of things. But for some reason or the other it would appear that the guard who is in charge of the area may have selected this guy to be a trustee. In this case I think it was the food and I don’t know why that particular guy because if I was aware that he had selected him I would have stopped it right away but I  guess that was a decision that was made last week.”


And it could be that from last week Montejo was building trust with the guard, plotting the escape while no one suspected anything. It was about one o’clock that Montejo lured the first prison guard to cell five where the guard was threatened and tied up.


Virgilio Murillo

“What we know so far is that the prisoner officer at the administrative segregation of the prison was lured under the pretense that there was a prisoner that needed assistance and the reports are indicating that when he went to offer that assistance despite not being clear what assistance was needed. The inmate that told them about the prisoner needing assistance followed behind and apparently there was the other work man out at the time and that work man hit him and when he hit him he took away a pocket knife that he had. He went towards the office of the administrative segregation area and he waited for the prisoner officer who was busy out checking other cells.”


Montejo was assisted by co-masterminds, Elser Oseguera and Joel Sierra. The trio held hostage three officers, removed their uniforms and tied them up.


Carlos Montejo

Virgilio Murillo

“When the prison officer reached the officer then he stuck him up with the pen knife and threatened to kill him. But I must say that the first officer who was lured after he was knocked out slightly unconscious.  They threw him in a cell and they took off his uniform and they put it on. When the other guy came off the outer building from checking the reports have it that he was stuck up with the safe pen knife that was taken away from the first officer and he too was escorted to the cell block where the other officer was already locked in. He was locked up, his unformed was taken off and apparently they were handcuffed and gagged based on what I heard.”


The prison guard posted in at the tower was then relieved of his firearm. The officers were held hostage for five hours when they were repeatedly being told that they would be murdered if they did not follow the escapee’s instructions.


Virgilio Murillo

“The inmate with the knife then went up and the climbed up the stairs for the tower and he went and relieved the officer of the M23 rifle and pretty much escorted him down at gunpoint and also locking him up in the cell along with the other two. That is what we have on our hands. They held them there at gunpoint from one o’clock in the afternoon, there abuts to six o’clock thereabouts when it got dark and they made their run.”


The masterminds then released twenty-five other prisoners and broke the chain link fence and made good their escape. Prison C.E.O. Virgilio Murillo quickly called Commissioner of Police Chester Williams for assistance.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“You would know that these escapees left the prison under the cover of night and so it was rather difficult for us to do much last night due to the fact that it was dark,. So what we did is to insert some of our officers along with prison officers in strategic locations where we believe these escapees might use a route to escape the prison area. At first dawn this morning we mounted a VCPs in strategic location in the highway including on the BOOM road. We also this morning at first day break did an air reconnaissance using the helicopter. We flew over the entire prison area, all the way to the Sibun area. We went all the way to mile thirty-one behind the zoo as well as the up the Bermudian Landing road all the way to an area where Program for Belize has done that way all the way to nearly reaching Shipyard with a view that we would have found any of these escapees but that was to no avail.”


Meanwhile, the prisoners continue to get further from the law’s reach, they raided a residence in the area.


Chester Williams

“A family had reported to us that about twenty of them arrived at their home last night and took their food supplies and left. So we are sure that they are in that area ad we are hoping that before the day ends today we should be able to have majority of them in custody.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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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