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Mar 14, 2011

Fruit Vendor shot dead

Miguel Rivera

The past weekend brought grief to at least three families. In the first instance, it is believed that robbery may have triggered the latest murder in the Old Capital. A market vendor of Honduran nationality who has been residing at Boston Village was shot at the start of the weekend. One man stood watch while two others reportedly rode by sizing their target. One of them returned and pulled the trigger that caused the fatal blow to the vendor. Miguel Rivera was killed instantly and police have charged twenty-three year old Ronlee Petillo and eighteen year old Matthew Smith for his murder. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to vendors, who say that security is a primary concern.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The street market on West Collet Canal at its junction with the Dean Street Bridge became the scene for the old Capital’s latest homicide. At 8:50 on Friday night, fifty seven year old Miguel Rivera, was shot once to the head while he sat on a rock and chatted with fellow fruit and vegetable vendor Juan Guardado. Guardado who wished to remain off-camera, was shocked at the senseless shooting.

Voice of: Juan Guardado, Fruit Vendor

“Well I just see like two man pass by the lane deh. When time they come back I hear like the gun [ch ch], llike eh shake the gun. Then wah lee boy stay by the bridge. But when they come back I run by the truck. They run atta the man and put the gun pan eh head.”

Jose Sanchez

“So it was a robbery?”

Voice of: Juan Guardado

“No robbery. Just fi kill the man. That dah noh robbery, they just want kill anybody else. I don’t know if it is me or the lee old man they want kill. They just want kill.”

Jose Sanchez

“I understand you were in a similar robbery before or a similar robbery?”

Voice of: Juan Guardado

“One time in the market, they mi wah kill we. No, they neva wah rob we, they just wanted to kill.”

Jose Sanchez

“I see you packing up. Is it for the day or are you leaving permanently?”

Voice of: Juan Guardado

“Well I stay here every day and night, but only Saturday evening I go home and that day, Friday night like nine o’clock, I see they when they pass so. And when they come back they straight fi kill the man.”

According to Nebil Rivera, his father was living in Boston Village up to the time of his death.

Nebil Rivera, Son of Miguel Rivera

Nebil Rivera

“My father is Miguel Rivera. He used to sell here at the market. Sadly he was killed. I still don’t know if it was an accident or not. He was a man who didn’t interfere with anyone. Two of his sons lived here in Belize. He just worked and didn’t mingle with anyone else.”

Adequate space to sell their products was once the main concern for vendors, safety is now their priority.

Jose Sanchez

“A lot of people sleep out here at night. Is there any security? Is there anything…”

Voice of: Juan Guardado

“No security noh deh out ya. When I tell City Council make they put security? They say they noh worry ‘bout outside, but they want collect outside and how they noh wah put no security outside and they noh want people go ina di market.”

Jose Sanchez

“So what will you do now in terms of your own safety?”

Voice of: Juan Guardado

“Well I gwen to Corozal. I noh wah stay yah. Atta money dah noh everything.”

Nebil Rivera

“This is a big market from what I see. The police vehicles pass by here regularly, but it would be better if the police not only pass but stop and see what is happening with the vendors.”

Rivera says that only two dollars were found on his father’s body which makes him believe robbery was the motive for the murder. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Petillo is known to have a long rap sheet. In 2007, he walked from the Murder of Dennis “Tiki” Gladden, but he has also been charged for Attempted Murder, Robbery, Burglary and Harm.

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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18 Responses for “Fruit Vendor shot dead”

  1. BZNinCALI says:

    SOS, different day. I hope for the sake of the next person who crosses Petillo’s path, this fool can get a speedy trial & hopefully be convicted or put to sleep. Earl, I’m not insulting your pets but this man behaves like a rabid dog.

    I know that life is tough but sleeping on the sidewalk to ensure a space is insanity in a city where life is so cheap.


    It is like I said before vendors are targets to crimes, and robbery and security should be an objective. Since the government cannot pay to supply the markets with security, then the vendors should have the right to bear arms.

    I am assuming that this latest murder was not robbery. If it was a robbery situation then why did the animals fired a single shot in a party of three/vendors, fled the scene without even attempting to robbed any of the three vendors.

    It always pisses me off when hard working men like Miguel Rivera are victimized or murdered by psychos like Ronlee Petillo and Matthew Smith. Who is next?

  3. ang says:

    Respectfully them should hang them li “chinch” or li “bwuay” all ah them from the first time fu start clear belize. When police deal with them people shock up sometimes only them know the li “chinch’s” records.

  4. concerned citizen says:

    It is sad to hear about all the murders going on in the country and especially in the city. They all revolve around petty situations. You can only ask the police to do so much because there is a big flaw with the judicial system. Too many people are getting off for murder trials. There is no real punishment for those doing the crime.
    Ronlee Petillo has a long list on his criminal record and if he thinks he will get away with it, of course he will try to kill over and over again. His sister spoke in his defense, and if the evidence does not lead to him, fine, but that is where the justice department comes in.
    I strongly believe in harsher punishment because this will set an example to those who may even think of committing a crime. Things have become so backwards in the country that I love so much.
    To the family of the late Mr. Miguel Rivera, my prayers go out to you and I pray that there be true justice for your loved ones murder.

    Concerned Citizen

  5. Tincho says:

    So why is a animal with a record like that roaming the streets of Belize. The justice system in Belize is a joke so is d government.


    Ok here we see a clear case that’s supposed to be an open and shut case right? There were at least 2 witnesses present at the time off the murder. Now watch how these two morons are going to walk due to witness intimidation! Thy are going to be terrorized by the associates of these men! Its sad when outside sources can predict just how things will end up and its all due to a failing justice system. One that is seemingly amateur among the rest of the region.

  7. rod says:

    resign barrow please resign you are a disgrace to the country and the people of belize disgraceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  8. belizeanpride says:

    these kill the hard working person, the ones that take time to produce what most of us belizeans tend to dislike most work, under the sun , but instead these have no respect for others nor for life, please hang them now, no more criminals walking free hang them, make this be an example for this year 2011

  9. MyLegacyB4myPeople says:

    The Barrow administration itself is a criminal enterprise so what can you expect from these monsters in the street the main reason why these monsters always gets away is because the same legal system’s prosecutors which has been systematically handpicked by Mr. Barrow in order to advance the wealth building legacy scheme of him and his comrades allow them to go free it’s a revolving door it keeps adding to the wealth of the lawyers who are in the same boat with the prosecutors it serves more than one purpose the other which is to put fear in the people of Belize so they can keep stealing from the people unhindered by this fear look how many times this petillo monster has been involved with the police and was still running free to commit another murder.

    How likely would you say is the chance that he will be free again to murder? I say very likely considering the structure of the legal system and the purpose of their function being to advance the wealth building scheme of Mr. Barrow and his comrades.

    Remember, My Legacy B 4 My People.

  10. j killa baby borther says:

    Good raymond killa gentle, big up all belizens…slow down with deh killings man

  11. Disgusted! says:

    This a sad and preventale tragedy. I say preventable because these heartless young punks who are terrorizing the hardworking, law-abiding citizens of Belize, are known criminals with long rap sheets. Yet, everytime they go to court for a crime, they’re set free on some technicality or the gross incompetence and corruption of the police dept and the judiciary. This piece of $h!t (Ronlee Petillo) is a notorious, cold-blooded murderer. Yet, he was on the streets because the Mockery of a judiciary in Belize failed miserably to convict him for past crimes thjat would have kept him off the streets. I hope to God that these poor farmers get enough and go on a vigilante rampage one of these days. Starting with the ministers of government. YES I SAID IT!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Curious says:

    we need to put some blame on the parole board at Kolbe, Mr Mel Auil and John Woods need to realize that a few prayer sessions in prison does not rehabilitate these carrer criminals. let us publish the names of members of the parole board it should not be a secret. criminals in US prisons are given 50-70 and 100 years without parole, and let us have a death penalty debate or referendum just like the oil. we are more concerned about the fishes and the corals than our brothers. who are we saving the reef for, while we kill out our selves!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Disgusted! says:

    In an interview on another newscast, (PHILLIP WILLOUGHBY) the biggest CERTIFIED @$$%OLE in Belize who is in charge of the security and well being of the tax paying vendors at the market, still didn’t come up with a long term assured plan to protect these poor, hard-working people. but he takes every opportunity to go before a camera and display what a $TUPID !@#%ING (… he is and the incompetence of the thieving staff of ZENAIDA MOYA the U.D.P. city council. Gawd! I hate these !#$%ing people and the ones before them but Belizeans will never learn!!!!!!!!!!!! WELCOME TO PARADISE TOURISTS…… HOPE YOU SURVIVE YOUR STAY!!!!!!!!!

  14. Storm says:

    Belize has to stand up strong and HANG ALL CONVICTED MURDERERS.

    That’s a lesson the public needs.

  15. BZNinCALI says:

    Well said, Curious.

  16. Elgin Martinez says:

    If this Government keep doing thesame thing then we must expect thesame result.

  17. Common $en$e says:

    Common $en$e: So Mr. Prime Minister is it true that the Belize Judicial System along with the gov’t is said to be at it’s weakest point ever and has never had a strong point when it involves murderers,robbers,thieves and corrupted officials. Dean : So what if we take bribes from drug dealers,and have murderers commiting crimes for our profits?

  18. Earl Grey says:



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