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Aug 19, 2011

Garifuna Collective loses a soulful brethren to murder

Giovanni Chi

The mean streets of Belize City have been soaked with the blood of accused criminals and ex-cons but every so often, productive members of society get caught up in the crossfire. And tonight we report that a talented musician who has travelled in the company of Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective has been gunned down. No one knows the motive for the murder of Giovanni Chi, but the man who strummed guitars, shook maracas and beat drums on well known songs is the city’s latest and coldest addition to 2011’s murder statistics.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports on the loss of this musician.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Belizean musician Giovanni Chi, an accomplished drummer and guitarist, was shot and killed last night in Port Loyola sometime around 10:30.  Chi was riding his bicycle along Jane Usher Boulevard when upon reaching its intersection with Louise Bevans Street a lone gunman assailed him and fired a single shot.

Voice of: Area Resident

“I just got inside my bathroom to take a shower when I heard one bang and then I went outside to find out what was wrong and when I got out there I saw this guy lying on the ground.”

Chi had been callously dispatched, the bullet entering and exiting his head near the right temple.  He collapsed to the ground below him instantly, blood speckling the site where he fell.

Voice of: Area Resident

“I think it was from his head, I’m not sure if it’s the right or the left but he was lying down on the right side.”

Isani Cayetano

“At the point where you responded to the gunshot did you see anyone fleeing the area?  Did you make out anybody or anything of that sort?

Voice of: Area Resident

“When I got out there, there was no one else, just the guy on the ground with his bike and his groceries cause it seems like he went to buy something at the grocery [store] and I guess when got around the curve that’s when somebody maybe met him and do him what they got to do him but there was no one out there, just me and him and me on the phone calling 911.”

The father of four, also a member of the acclaimed Garifuna Collective, was an outstanding talent, who has lent his vocals to the music of the late Andy Palacio, as well as that of legendary Parandero Paul Nabor with whom he is seen here.  Chi’s friend, who wished to appear off camera, shares his emotional response upon receiving news of the murder.

Isani Cayetano

“When you received word last night that your friend had been murdered in the Jane Usher Boulevard area what was your first reaction?”

Voice of: Friend of Giovanni Chi

“I da like what? No! Cause then dis man just leff fah ya like a minute ago and di next minute dehn come and tell me dis man get shot.  I neva believe, yo undastand, until one ah fu he sista come and tell me well dat da true…”

Upon observing the motionless body at the scene of the crime a neighbor immediately called the emergency hotline before others in the vicinity, who were oblivious to what had happened minutes earlier, took notice.

Andre Trapp

Voice of: Area Resident

“When the police first got here then that’s when everybody got because then that’s when they knew something was wrong and so everybody came and said “Oh my God that’s Chi!”  And Chi is a cool person, you know.”

The loss of Giovanni Chi is the second such tragedy to befall his family.  He was the elder sibling of Andre Trapp, the alleged leader of the South Side Gangsters, who was terminated in a swath of bullets in front of the Magistrates Court on June 10th, 2010.  According to his friend Chi, who was a student of the aforementioned Paranderos, was also a mentor who taught him music and other important life lessons.

Voice of: Friend of Giovanni Chi

“Ih nice, ih teach me wah lotta ting, you know.  Ah get fi laan to, tek ih word ah advice and everything else.”

Today his friends and family joined their voices in song, strumming his guitar, beating his drums and shaking his maracas.  His was truly a talent in music that will certainly be missed from the local tourism scene here in Belize City. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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14 Responses for “Garifuna Collective loses a soulful brethren to murder”

  1. Storm says:

    Catch the killer, try him, hang him — 1, 2, 3.

    If you take a life, you give your life.

  2. kirian azueta says:

    what else !@#$%^& belizeans black killing black !@#$ wake up belize what unu wa gain tell me stop the violence da the same colour!!!!!!

  3. Matthew Dougherty says:

    Somebody killed part of Belize’s musical soul, by a murderer who offers nothing to improve Belize.
    Chi was pure musician and great human being, a positive force in this world.
    My heart goes out to the Garifuna Collective, keep the faith and hope alive.

  4. cg says:

    victim of circumstance, and these boys really believe what they do will only affect him. poor guy, this is where injustice in our system plays out, on the innocent

  5. belizenorealnomo says:

    All these senseless killings is just becoming ridiculous… I mean, why is it that these people are just out retaliating and shooting down people, I mean what is that saying about our country, that we have heartless monsters roaming amongst us? I know Chi’s brother wasn’t a standup citizen but this man, filled with talent, not to mention a family man… i hope the perpetrator be found and hung.. Tired of all this stupidness…

  6. I Have Awaken says:

    As I said, Belize is officially !****ked! Bunch of savages Belizeans are too busy killing each other while everyone else comes and reap the sweets and leave us savages here to slaughter each other.

  7. belizeanpride says:

    instead of implementing the 9th amendment implement the death penalty and lets start hanging this criminals in day time and in public places to show that we are fed up and are standing against their foolishness of killing people senselessly.

  8. bzn2dabone says:

    time for people to take the law into their own hands. It is time for jungle justice.

  9. danny says:

    UGH!!!! I hate dos stupid men that js pass by n kill!!! der shud b more police patroling evry single street js like dat des disgusting KILLERS will be reduced from our streets!!! C’mon if laws wer enforced der wiouldnt b so much killings…jeez everybdy terified 2b at bze! Why dont des killers js gt a frickin job n stp kill for what others have worked so hard to have…they earn der living while dey js finish it in a few seconds!!!!!

  10. Reality Chek says:

    There is a gang war going on in the streets of Belize City, unabated. that is the first thing we need to accept. in a war we are all in danger, brothers ,sisters, neighbors, even grandpa as we have seen before. my condolences to this man’s family. but being the brother of a known gang leader makes you a target, whether you are involved or not. In Mexico and Columbia the drug lords kidnap and murder the children and relatives of Judges and Police Officers. wars has no rules, Law abiding citizens with Police and BDF need to take back the streets. This is what is happenning in the favelas in Rio,Brazil.

  11. I Have Awaken says:

    Reality Chek; not to sound sarcastic, but what gave it away; that there is a gang war going on? This is ooooold news, the media, the elites don’t give a crap these young men slaughtering each other are all goons for the high officials anyways, as long as they stick to killing each other, no one in high places care. Now and then they will be hired to hit some high profile person, you know, someone who is getting in the way of some other high profile person. There is a gang warfare going on in Belize since the 90′s when the first real load of sea lotta hit Belize and ever since then it was war for control….just like there is a war in Mehico, just on a much larger scale over there and much more brutal.

  12. Tired of crooks in power says:

    “I have awaken”, You said a mouthful there bro!

    The death penalty will only work if we can get our murderers in the first place.
    If the witnesses recant when sentences are lenient, imagine what they will do when the sentence is the death penalty.

    Point is, we need three things that GOB refuse to invest in because they too busy covering up their supportes’ a$$e$:


    No need for eye witness with those three

  13. Betta Belize It says:

    what we need to do is have witnesses confess over a tape recorder and then have a written copy of said report where the witness signs and make that binding and confidential . That way witness can hide his/her identity.

    Also stop playing nice we are handling this humane when they inhumane animals. BDF and Police .

  14. roberto says:

    And what if one as a citizen starts justice, brings about death to defend your life… what then…the system will condemn you

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