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Sep 5, 2007

Gang war claims another victim

Story PictureWith Belize City’s murder rate approaching Baghdad like proportions, the search for solutions is looking very much like the U.S. dilemma in Iraq. The only difference is that at least the Americans can pack up and go home. The latest fatality in the ongoing gang war occurred last night.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Was it the colour of his T- shirt that cost thirty-one year old Kurt Ortega his life? According to Ian Ortega his brother, who was formerly affiliated with the bloods gang, was dressed in full red when he unfortunately went to buy chicken on a rival groups’ turf. That neighbourhood is still mourning the recent killings of former notorious Crypt’s gang leader George “Junie Balls” Mckenzie and his nephew Floyd “Cinco Seis” Gladden.

Ian Ortega, Brother of Murder Victim
“To my belief, I believe da just wa colour thing. I believe da wa colour thing because my brother had on full red and ih sad mein. You tell me you wear the colour you got on, a full red or wa full blue that means you wa lose your life, offa wa piece ah material thing, that noh mek sense.”

Ortega was the owner of No Limits Cut barber shop in San Pedro Ambergris Caye but had temporarily evacuated to the mainland until the passage of hurricane Felix. Shortly after eight on Tuesday night he left his family’s house to go buy food at Pratt’s Fried Chicken on Hondo Street.

This blood stain marks the spot where Ortega was standing when he was shot to the head and stomach.

Ian Ortega
“Well according to the police dah six times. According to the police da six times, da six times.”

Ortega says by the time he reached the crime scene his brother lay dead in the back of a pickup truck. Ortega says he know his brother was no angel and had a troubled past but that he never took someone else’s life so he does not know why someone would want to kill him.

Ian Ortega
“Because I no know ah as no triggerman. I no know ah like that. I know my brother as just wa— just wa lee hustler, the try fu hustle mek lee ends meet and ih mi the do good mein. He mi the do good.”

Ortega says the family is hurting because at the time their loved one was murdered he says Kurt’s business was doing well and that he had made positive changes in his life.

Ian Ortega
“My ma the try hard right now fu fight it. I the fight it, from last night I the cry. I no sleep yet. I just wish…”

“All ah we black people the kill up weself over nothing, over piece ah cloth, cloth, rag. Ih sad mein. We shoulda unite and stop they killing. I the look pan it from two point ah view, from the big people they to the small people they, corruption need fu stop, this killing need fu stop. We the kill one another fu nothing. My brother wa just become wah statistics now, but the thing is, ih noh mek sense. This weh we the do out yah, this killing, this no mek sense. Love one another mein.”

In a correction to what we reported last night, this latest murder brings the year’s total to sixty-four, two more than we had previously cited. And in an update on the killing of Floyd Gladden, which occurred Tuesday afternoon, fifteen year old Dean Dawson of Warrie Street was today arraigned in Magistrates’ Court on a charge of murder.

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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