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Aug 17, 2022

The Remains of Derrick Uh Are Laid to Rest

News Five has confirmed that several police officers will be arraigned on Thursday in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court for the death of Derrick Uh and we have an interview with attorney Norman Rodriguez about the charges being levelled against his client, Police Constable Errol Peralta. We’ll have that story shortly, but in Cristo Rey Village today, the Uh family laid the remains of twenty-year-old Derrick Uh to rest. The young man perished in the back of a police prison van after being left unattended and was later forgotten inside. He died from a heat stroke, but his decomposing body was discovered over twelve hours later. There was a breach of protocols by several police officers, who as we said earlier, have since been criminally charged. News Five’s Duane Moody was up north where the family spoke up about the incident. Here’s that report.


Mother of Deceased

Mother of Deceased [Translated]

“My son who had a future, a plan – he and I had so many plans. And when I went on Sunday to identify his body, I went hoping that it wasn’t my son. But the clothes was his. It was him. And that night I cried and cried and I said to God that you are good. You did not make me go through the lake you put me through the fire but you never prepared me to go through this and if the price for this. I’m sorry Father because I don’t know who is going to question you. I am not the one to reproach you because the children are your swords.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

This is an excerpt from the emotional words shared by the mother of Derrick Uh during today’s funeral service inside the Cristo Rey Pentecostal Church in Corozal District. The ceremony was held earlier than the family would have wanted because of the state of the body. Following the services, a procession was held through the village and the remains of the twenty-year-old were taken to a final resting place. Vanessa Uh, his oldest sister, says that Derrick was the youngest of the three siblings and she helped to take care of him while their mother worked. She says that she still is in disbelief about the cruelty with which her brother lost his life.


Vanessa Uh

Vanessa Uh, Sister of Deceased

“I am here standing unbelieving. I don’t want to accept it. My heart has a pain, but my tears can’t come out because I don’t accept the fact that my brother is gone in that way, in that cruel manner because he suffered a lot. He got suffocated on the van and he said the driver hand in the key and he forgot that someone was inside. And I tell him so my brother got killed here and he tell me no. And then I tell the police so you tell me that if someone look you inside there and let you stay there that you wouldn’t die. And then he just bring down his head.”


Derrick Uh

Derrick Uh was detained by police at the San Joaquin Fiesta early Sunday morning and was placed in the back of a police prison van, which was being used as a makeshift holding cell. He was forgotten inside the van which was later parked at the Corozal Police Station. There was no ventilation for over twelve hours and temperatures that day were high. A post-mortem certified that the construction worker died of heat stroke due to prolonged confinement in enclosed space. Vanessa says that her brother, who was reportedly found nude, suffered as if though he was inside an oven.


Vanessa Uh

“I have some pictures of how he looks right now. He really suffered a lot because right now the way he looks is not the way we remember him. He was handsome and had a beautiful smile and now the way I look at him, even his color is not the right one because he got burnt. His body was like on an oven; his face completely change and he was like black now and that was not his normal color. The color was because of the way he was in the van and the van was like cooking his body so his body color changed.”


Vanessa explains why they did not go looking for Derrick when he didn’t return that night from the San Joaquin Fiesta.


Vanessa Uh

“It was a cruel situation because my brother had dreams and people say why they took so long and why they didn’t go looking for him. People think that we didn’t love him, but we loved him much. My brother used to do us that routine that on Fridays he used to get paid and he used to hide from us. He was like mischievous and go around and we would go around asking have you seen him, have you seen him because he got affected by a past relationship. And we would go around, sometimes my mom would say they tell me your little brother dehn saw him in the field and I tell my mom if you want us to go and look for him. So we used to walk the village and go and look for him and sometimes I used to get my bicycle and go around to see where he was drinking. And then he usually come home Saturdays or Sundays because he worked Mondays. So he always appeared Sunday morning or on the afternoon.”


While his life has been cut short, Vanessa says that Derrick had so much that he wanted to accomplish.


Vanessa Uh

“He really had many dreams. He wanted to go back to school. He told my mom that he will because my mom was like I am willing to help you if you put your interest because he really was a smart boy.”


On Tuesday, Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa told the media that the family should be compensated for the loss of their loved one at the hands of the police. 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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