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Feb 11, 2013

Youth drowns in Cayo

Jevan Guerra

An afternoon outing ended tragically for a fifteen year old. On Sunday afternoon, Jevan Guerra joined friends for a swim in the Mopan River in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Guerra, who had ventured out without parental authorization, reportedly experienced cramps and could not make it across the river.  Despite efforts from friends and people in the area, Guerra’s life could not be saved. Duane Moody has that story.


Duane Moody, Reporting

This calm area of the Mopan River is a recreational spot for Benque residents to take a dip and bask in the refreshing waters. But on Sunday, that tranquility was shattered when the river turned deadly. Fifteen year old Jevan Guerra left home with fourteen year old Yiener Orellano and thirteen year old Brandon Gamez, to go swimming behind the Benque Viejo Polyclinic. Less than twenty minutes later, Guerra went under.


Edilberto Nelson Mendez

Edilberto Nelson Mendez, Uncle of Deceased

“It was about fifteen minutes, twenty minutes that I left from the yard to the neighbors next yard and my ma called me. I never really understand what ih mi di try tell me. I hurry come from yonder—about fifteen minutes I take. When I come here, they give me the news that my nephew drowned. Weh my ma tell me, he just done eat wah lot and his friends and he—my nephew dressed ina short pants and thing—and they say my nephew jumped ina the water and start to swim. The lee bwai from the neighbor cross the river and by the time he reached the next side, my nephew holla, “Bwai come help me, I can’t take it no more. I catch cramp, come help me.” So the lee bwai hurry swim, but by the same time when he hurry swim, but at the same time, my lee nephew slip from off of ih arm and ih done got cramp so ih just sink in; ih just gone down.”


Despite efforts from his friends to save him, Guerra slipped under the water and moments later his body was brought up and taken to the San Ignacio Hospital. According to uncle, Edilberto Nelson Mendez, the incident is heartbreaking because Guerra was never allowed to go swimming in that area without his parents.


Edilberto Nelson Mendez

“He only tell ih ma that ih mi wah take wah lee circle with ih lee friend dehn ina bike. If he woulda mi tell me, “Tio, I gwen dah river,” I mi wah holler fi my ma or ih ma fi see if dehn give ahn permission because dehn noh—deh n noh even let ih go with nobody; noh even with me. Dehn noh even let me ker dehn dah river. If dehn goh, dah ih ma and pa. But ih just gone pan ih own without ask permission. For a fact, if ih mi ask permission, dehn neva mi wah let ahn go.”

Mary Robinson

This afternoon, Guerra’s classmates and friends gathered at his home on Kennedy Street to pay their respects. Mary Robinson says that he it came as a shock to them.


Mary Robinson, Teacher, Mount Carmel High School

“On Friday he attended a motivational rally that they had in San Ignacio. I happened to be speaking to him after it and we had agreed that we would continue our conversation today; obviously that was cut short. Rodney seemed to get along with his classmates; he was very playful and so they teased each other a lot. They had their little riffs but for the most part, they were always very playful. And he was also very humble so if you called his attention because he was getting a little rough, he would always immediately apologize… But they are definitely here in support of the family.”


Edilberto Nelson Mendez

“He dah mi wah nice… I mean weh I could tell yo… He hug my ma every minute; he hug my pa; he play with my pa. I mean he dah mi wah sweet bally. He dah mi wah loving person—with my ma, with my pa, with me—with everybody; me anybody and everybody. Everybdoy know he dah mi wah cool bally. We wah miss ahn big time we wah miss ahn.”


An autopsy was done on the body at four this afternoon. Guerra’s body will be laid to rest on Tuesday with funeral services at the Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Benque. Duane Moody 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 “Youth drowns in Cayo”

  1. Diamond says:

    this is wat happen wen u dont listen to ur parents….so my Belizean children please learn from this….Mothers please be careful where ur children are…..To the family.. I am very sorry for ur lost.

  2. Simone says:

    big men watched as he drowned and did nothing-big cowards-hope you live with your internal demons forever and know that you will always be a coward now-you wont get another chance to redeem yourselves

  3. Storm says:

    Prayers for his young soul and condolences to the family. A sad reminder of the uncertainty of life.

    If adults watched and did nothing, as Simone claims, they should be ashamed the rest of their lives. The Bible says one of the two great commandments is, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

  4. Anonymous says:

    I disagree with all the comments because I knew him, but when It is you time, it is your time.
    May my dear Friend rest in peace. RIP Javan Rodney Guerra, you will always be remembered.

  5. Mayranni says:

    the news came as a shocker to me up to now i still can’t believe it. he took a piece of me with him, but he will always be in our hearts. R.I.P Javan Rodney Guerra. :’(

  6. Anonymous says:

    How I miss you so much :(
    Rip. Javan

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