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Apr 23, 2012

Artist with a hope after prison murdered in Belmopan

Luis Valladarez

As we told you, there were four gang related murders in the Old Capital over the weekend alone; three on Friday and one on Saturday. The crime wave also spread to the Nation’s capital where a painter lost his life. Luis Valladarez, who has served time behind bars, was chopped on the head and back. He died shortly afterwards. He is the third son to be killed and his mother says he knew his murderer. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.


Delahnie Bain, Reporting

An argument near Chan’s Grocery Store in the San Martin Area of Belmopan turned violent and then fatal early on Sunday morning. The victim, twenty-eight year old Luis Valladarez, reportedly got into an argument with a group of men, who left the area and returned armed with machetes. Luis received a large chop wound to the head and another on his back. The scattered blood stains indicate that he tried to run for his life, but collapsed across the street. He died while receiving treatment at the Western Regional Hospital, but his mother, Maria, says he identified his killer as someone he had previous problems with.


Maria Valladarez, Mother of Luis Valladarez (Translated)

“Well, what I know is that they always game him problems, always the same problems with gang members. He said they he was followed by Oscar Cuello and Leonardo Zacharias. Yesterday when they chopped him and police picked him up, shortly before he died he told them it was Zacharias.”


Maria Valladarez

Zacharias has been detained but has not yet been charged and the Valladarez family is worried that they won’t get justice. According to Maria, Luis is the third son she I losing to violence and the first two murders were never solved.


Maria Valladarez

“Right now I am coming from police and it looks like they are going to free Zacharias. I don’t know. I want the police to investigate and do something because I have lost three sons. With this one, I have lost three sons and I don’t think I will get justice. The first one, no justice; when they killed my second son, I still got no justice and now with this one what can I do with my low income? What happened to the law? They want proof. It’s not enough that my son told them who chopped him. I don’t know what they are waiting for. I don’t know they are waiting for because they are not listening. I don’t know what more they want.”


Luis was well known in Belmopan as an artist and did several paintings on the walls of Chan’s Store where he was killed. He spoke to us in 2008 when he was enrolled in an art program at the Hattieville Prison. But Maria says, his paintings eventually took a back seat to drugs.


Luis Valladarez, Painter (File: August 12th, 2008)

“This experience has made me think about my talent. Being here in prison for two years make me develop more of my talent, like I have the time, I keep my time like all the time doing art works.”


Jose Sanchez

“Do you think it has been helpful to make you, when you come out, to want to do something better with your life?”


Luis Valladarez

“Yeah, I am thinking that right now here in the prison I am helping the prison. I am a teacher, teaching the other inmates about arts.”


Maria Valladarez

“He was a painter. He went to the Hattieville Prison and he practiced and got his certificate for painting. Since then, he was brought to Belize on special days to do his painting class. He worked well and people were interested in his paintings in Belize. Even at the prison, they would seek him out. When he came home, many persons came to find him to do rooms and advertisements. But then he stopped working. The problem with him was that he got into drugs.”


Maria’s other two sons who have been killed are Carlos and Erwin Valladarez. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

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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6 Responses for “Artist with a hope after prison murdered in Belmopan”

  1. Earl Grey says:

    WASTED TALENT……… :-(

  2. San Martin Ave. says:

    first of all, one cannot criticize mothers since they only want wats best for their child. It is very unethical to post something like an early mothers day. Her other two child weren’t gang members. you should do some research before saying such tings. I cant believe wat kind of justice we have in Belize. Firstly knowing the murdered of they young kid Martinez, they police was told who commited the murdered and still did nothing, two days later they persons who committed the crime were released and got the chance to escape and went out of the country. Now here we are with the same thing, Luis Valladares said who did it and they want to released the murder. Infact they only got one person when it was more involved, as far as i know only one of them was on custody when the police were told two names. On the night of the occurance the police were out drinking on their vehicles which only left one vehicle to attend the crime activities in the Belmopan City. I believe the police must act immediately and have these gang stop developing before it gets worst. Before the area of san martin was a peaceful community but know with these gangs developing and the police doing nothing they are doing what they please and getting away with it. Belmopan Police Department should enforce themselves and demonstrate how the law must be obeyed. They should protect us they citizens and not be drinking up and down, why are we paying tax and not only not getting security and peace from these police but other issues also.

    The People of San Martin

  3. proudbzean says:

    Now I see, very good observation.

    I heard this youngman, who happened to have many teeth missing and lost them in fights, was not quite the “artist” they are picturing him to be here. At least two people have told me when they saw it on news, “hey he is the one that stole my bike” another said “he stole my family washing machine” etc.

    Its sad to see youths go down like that but if you chose that life, expect that type of end.

  4. real says:

    Drugs. Drugs killed his talent, drugs killed his drive, drugs made him steal bikes and washing machines. drugs did everything that caused all the negative comments about this man. if there were no drugs, he would have been a productive artist that everyone would have been happy about. and alive. now instead of being cold to the mother. talk about the effect of drugs on our community. even people at the highest political offices are worked up affected by drugs that even a church ministry can’t boots of the system.

  5. JDR says:

    I knew you from when we were both kids. I am sorry for the choices you made but now you’re in a better place.

    RIP Luis.

  6. Damaris Perez says:

    Oh my god I can’t believe u dead this new shock me RIP

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