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Aug 3, 1998

San Pedro tour guide finds 36 kilos cocaine

There’s a popular song by Punta rocker Mohobub Flores which describes the hopes of some young men in Belize’s coastal communities who are trying to solve their financial problems by finding a certain package washed up on the beach. Not surprisingly the song is entitled “Kilo”. Last Friday in San Pedro an incident occurred that will drive the drug lords and their beachcombing friends absolutely crazy. Because one man not only found his kilo,… he found thirty-six of them… and turned them all into the police. Ramon Badillo is a sixty-eight year old tour guide and justice of the peace. He was taking some German tourists snorkeling at the reef right in front of the town, when they asked if they could have an extra fifteen minutes to enjoy the magnificent sites. The next thing he knew they had latched on to a large piece of debris.

Ramon Badillo

“When I look around I saw the four of them dragging something and I seh whe di hell this, dem people bringing in stones or something like that. Whe di hell we want dis fi put in di boat. But when they get close to the boat I tell them whe di hell you bring bwai. He seh, I don’t know but it look like something serious; it look like illegal like marijuana or cocaine. I seh well bwai we are in trouble.”

Q: “Why did you say you are in trouble?”

Ramon Badillo

“Because I don’t want to be in this thing; I don’t like to be in none a dem things because I know that dem things is big trouble. You know how people go.”

Q: “So you took the bag into your boat? What happened next?”

Ramon Badillo

“Well I tek these in the boat and right away I tell di people okay let’s go now – this thing we’re going to take it straight to the government dock and deliver it to the police station. That was in my idea as soon as I pick up this bag. I seh we’re going to go straight to the government dock before anything because I’m not going to take it to my dock and then afterwards to the government dock because then trouble will come. Because if you take it to your dock then come to government dock then people might seh well you take some to your dock and then you take the rest to the government dock, no.”

Police believe that the find was too close to town to have been the result of a badly aimed wet drop. They suspect, however, that the cocaine may be related to the discovery of an empty boat around a month ago by the B.D.F. As for Ramon Badillo, we say… well done.

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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