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Sep 22, 2022

San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town Council Resident Fatally Stabbed on Independence Day

Matthew Smith

There was a murder in San Ignacio at around seven p.m. on Wednesday. According to police, they received information of a male person seen on the ground with multiple stab wounds to the upper part of his body, near the Macal River Park Area. The individual, later identified as twenty-nine-year-old, Matthew Smith, was rushed to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead.  News Five’s Paul Lopez visited San Ignacio today where he learned that the murder victim was an employee at the San Ignacio/ Santa Elena Town Council. Here is that report.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

A twenty-nine-year- old San Ignacio Town Council employee was stabbed to death outside of the Macal River Park in San Ignacio Town. Matthew Smith, a resident of Belize City, reportedly left the Old Capital after numerous run-ins with the law. His former house mate and friend, Jeffrey Tillett, told News Five off camera that Smith moved away from the city in search of a better life for himself.

Voice of: Jeffrey Tillett

Voice of: Jeffrey Tillett, Friend of Deceased

“All I could say is that I don’t know why. All I know the man dah mih wah fighter, ih strong, ih tek lick eena his life and all kinda thing. So, I mih think the man mih wah survive, which in the man mih done gawn through a lot of stabbing and suh. This dah nuh the first time eena ih history. The man mindset dah mih fih help ih family and thing and get out ah this poverty and thing, because the man neva got a good background or like family weh could help out the man deh kinda way deh suh. The man had to do everything by ihself. Sometime I the yah help the man and thing to, because the man does deh yah with me and ih help me a lot to check so.”

Smith would later settle in San Ignacio. He was employed at the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council where Mayor Earl Trapp gave him a job with the construction crew. Mayor Trapp says he had several conversations with Smith during his time at the council. He described the young man as a hard worker, but short-tempered.


Earl Trapp

Earl Trapp, Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town Council

“Matthew Smith was hard working. When he got into his work he would work. But like many people he had a little shortcoming and I think he was too impatient and a little boisterous. I had warned him on several occasions about his behavior. Like I said I am not sure what transpired if it was his fault or not. It is not about trying to put anybody bad, but the thing is that he was very much too outspoken, boisterous and impatient. My heart really goes out to his family because he told me he had two or three children, and he really needed a job, that is the reason I went the extra mile to keep him on the job. Like I said, he had his ups and downs and I had to call him to the office on couple occasions, but he was into his family and his I am sure his family will miss him.”

Smith met his untimely demise during the town’s Independence Day concert at the Macal River Park. According to police, Smith was involved in an altercation outside of the venue. ASP Fitzroy Yearwood linked that Independence Day incident to a prior altercation, also involving Smith, in San Ignacio Town.


Fitzroy Yearwood

ASP Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, B.P.D.

“We know that investigators so far uncovered that Matthew Smith was involved in a fight with a group of men at the Macal Park where there was a function being held after the parade. This fight is a two prong incident because these gentlemen were involved in another fight on the twentieth of September at a dance that was being held at a venue in San Ignacio also. It is unfortunate that the rival group saw him at Macal Park and somebody else that was in his company that was invited in that fight on the twentieth. Minister Smith received fatal injuries and since then we have detained several parties that were involved in both fights that we believe could shed some light on this incident.”


According to Yearwood, there were in excess of thirty officers on duty at the event on Independence Day. Notwithstanding the number of officers, the magnitude of the crowd at the venue may have contributed to officers not seeing when the fight took place. In spite of the fatal stabbing, Mayor Trapp commended the officers who were on duty for their service to the town during the days of celebration.


Earl Trapp

“I received a call about seven thirty from the police here informing me that there was an unfortunate incident where someone was stabbed and unfortunately succumbed to his injuries. He said he was at the hospital and the guy had passed away. We investigated and later learnt that it was one of our very own employees. Like I said, unfortunately it happened outside and it was something I had, the night before and even yesterday commended the police for doing an excellent job, which they have done an excellent job during the celebrations and I must commend them for a job well done, because at the end of the day it is not like we can eradicate crime. Things will happen but they did an excellent job indeed.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

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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