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Jan 17, 2023

Vivian Ramnarace Dies Fifteen Days after Tragic Shooting That Claimed the Lives of Her Husband and Brother-In-Law  

Vivian Ramnarace

The family and friends of Belmopan resident Vivian Ramnarace are tonight mourning her passing, compounding the grief they have been experiencing since New Year’s Eve. The mother of one died on Sunday night, fifteen days after losing her husband and brother-in-law to a shooting incident in Belmopan that also left gravely injured. Over the last fifteen days, she was being cared for and closely monitored by her immediate family, as she fought to rebound from the tragedy that had already claimed two lives. Now, Vivian’s five-year-old daughter is left without her biological parents and perhaps only memories of their time together. It is a tragedy that has also shocked members of the marine conservation community locally and internationally, as Vivian’s influence in this space was far reaching. News’s Five’s Paul Lopez tells us more.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Thirty-eight-year-old Vivian Ramnarace, the wife of murder victim Jon Ramnarace has passed away. She died on Sunday night while being transported to the Western Regional Hospital with heart complications. On New Year’s Eve, Vivian, her husband Jon, her brother-in-law David Ramnarace and David’s common-law-wife, were at their residence in Belmopan when they were attacked by a lone gunman. Jon and David died that night, but Vivian was on the road to recovery. That is until Sunday night when she suddenly passed away. We spoke with Beverly Wade, a colleague and friend of Vivian.


Beverly Wade

Beverly Wade, Director, Blue Bonds and Finance Permanence Unit

“For those of us who knew Vivian we were very much banking on her passion, and her being a fierce person when it comes to fighting and passion. We could see her fighting her way through this, especially for her daughter that also survived this tragedy. So, when Vivian came out of it we were all looking to her recovery really. So, the news on Sunday was now devastating, because it was like we had crossed that hurdle and it was when she would have recovered and she was always positive about how she was doing and trying to keep everybody around her positive.”


Beverly Wade and Vivian Ramnarace worked together at the Fisheries Department for almost fifteen years. Wade recounted Vivian’s many contributions to the country’s marine conservation efforts that expanded her influence across the region and internationally. Among her achievements, Vivian was the point person in Belize who worked alongside UNESCO to remove the Belize Barrier Reef from the list of World Heritage Site in Danger.


Vivian Ramnarace

Beverly Wade

“Vivian was one of the local leads in coordination the removal of Belize from the list of sites that was then placed on the danger list. There was a mission that then came with Belize from UNESCO Paris and Vivian was the point person for that. There was a road map drafted at the end of that mission which the government of Belize agreed on undertaking. Basically she was the gate keeper to ensure that the conditions and the obligations stated in that road map was really delivered at the end of the day. Even this morning my email has been flooded with colleagues from UNESCO, noting such a great loss not only to Belize, but internationally for the work she has done.”


According to Wade, condolences have been pouring in from as far as Australia and other Commonwealth countries. Police confirmed today that with Vivian’s passing, the accused perpetrator, Police Corporal Elmer Nah, will see an initial attempted murder charge upgraded to murder.


Fitzroy Yearwood

Fitzroy Yearwood, Communications Director, Belize Police Department

“Unfortunately we received the news that Miss Vivian Ramnarace was on her way to the Belmopan hospital when she collapsed and was pronounced dead when she arrived at the hospital. We know that mister Nah will be receiving an upgraded to murder. And, I am not certain when that charge will be levied, but because he is already on remand for murder he could be read that charge as early as when he appears in front of the court on for his remanded date.”


For those close to Vivian, all indications were that her condition was improving. Beverly Wade says that they last spoke on Sunday morning, hours before news of her passing broke. During that discussion Wade and Vivian looked to the future of the conservation efforts to which they invested their lives.


Beverly Wade

“I actually had an exchange with her on the morning she passed away and there was nothing that would have indicated to me that I would be getting the message that night that she had passed away.”


Several of her family members, including her sister and brother-in-law took to social media following her passing with words of grief and requests for prayers. One post read, ‘So many emotions are running through me that I don’t know how to cope with. I woke up this morning hoping it was just a dream but this is our reality”. Another said, “Our families were already mourning the murder of my brothers and losing you just intensified that pain and emptiness which I did not think could get any worse. I was wrong”. 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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