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Jun 3, 2013

Robbery and murder in Las Flores, Belmopan

Manuel Aquino

A robbery at a bar in Las Flores, Belmopan turned deadly for one of two patrons. The incident happened just past midnight on Saturday. There were at least four persons on duty as well as the manager, Joshua Lopez. A resident Salvadoran national and a visiting friend, also from Salvador, were at the neighborhood bar when the armed men entered the establishment. The two patrons intervened to prevent the robbery and this is when the robbers turned their guns on them. The thieves were able to rob the bar of thousands of dollars before making good their escape in Lopez’s car. Duane Moody spoke to the family of the survivor.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Just after twelve-ten a.m. on Sunday, four armed men dressed in full black and wearing masks and gloves robbed La Choza del Cabrito Bar in Las Flores, Belmopan. Over thirty-six hundred dollars in cash were stolen from the manger of the establishment as well as his cell phone and his car was used as the getaway vehicle. But the incident turned fatal when two patrons, intervened during the robbery and as a result were shot; one died on the spot. Lorena Aquino, who works as a waitress at the bar, had just taken a quick break to go to her house located adjacent to the establishment when she heard several gun blasts. Moments later she realized that her husband, fifty year old Manuel Aquino, was a victim.


Lorena Aquino, Wife of Shooting Victim (Translated)

“In truth, I worked there. But for five minutes, I went home; that’s next door. When I went that’s when the gunshots went off. The other waitresses ran to my house knocking on the door and told me what happened. When I heard the shots, I opened my window and looked out and I saw nothing; I only heard the shots. It was my husband that was injured and one of his friends is dead. He is Salvadoran and he only came to visit for some days and was gonna return home.”


Lorena Aquino

While her husband was hit once to the leg, forty-three year old Salvadoran national, Isabel Antonio Ballona, died on the spot when he was hit to the heart and abdomen.  Both were rushed to the Western Regional Hospital. Aquino has since been admitted in a stable condition.


Lorena Aquino (Translated)

“My husband has a gunshot wound to the leg here and the bullet entered here, and it exited and hit him on the other leg. But the other guy, got two shots—one here and the other here. He died on the spot because it hit his heart. When it comes to my husband’s condition, I believe they will operate his leg because right now they will do some tests on him and they won’t release him to me. The doctors would know more. But I don’t believe it is critical because he moves his feet…but for some reason they won’t release him.”


Asst. Supt. Sinquest Martinez, Officer Commanding, Belmopan

“While the robbery was taking place, the now deceased and the other victim who were patrons of the establishment went to aid the manager of the establishment when the robbers fired a couple shots and caught both of them. Subsequently, one passed away.  During the robbery, when the robbers did left, they did manage to get the manager’s key for his car which was stolen, a geo prism 2000, white in color.”


It is the first time that the La Choza del Cabrito has been robbed. And according to Officer Commanding the Belmopan Formation, Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez, it is believed that while the robbery was planned, the murder was not the assailants’ intent.


Sinquest Martinez

Asst. Supt. Sinquest Martinez

“Initial investigation reveal that the manager of the business establishment reported to the police that while he was there with his waitresses along with some customers, they were accosted by four male persons, who ordered the manager of the establishment to go on the ground and proceeded to rob him and the establishment.”


According to police reports, four men—two nineteen year olds, an eighteen year old and a fifteen year old minor—all from Belmopan, were detained hours later in connection with this latest homicide in the old capital. Since then, three others have also been taken into custody.


Supt. Sinquest Martinez

“Due to our hard work and dedication and overdrive into this investigation that recently we were being plagued with, we managed to find the car in Belmopan City and one of them was coming from the car and that’s how we managed to crack the case so far.”



“What leads you to believe that they are persons of interests?”


Supt. Sinquest Martinez

“Of the items we have found. We found it on them and the items have been identified by the proprietor and the other witnesses in the case.”


Duane Moody

“Are these people known to the police?”


Supt. Sinquest Martinez

“So far we have detained six persons. Yesterday and today, we detained another person. So we are just doing what needs to be done, put it together, have these statements recorded.”


According to Superintendent Martinez, the persons detained are part of a gang and the department strongly believes that they are responsible for many criminal activities that have been occurring within Garden City. Duane Moody for News Five.


The stolen items as well as the cash have all been recovered.

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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12 Responses for “Robbery and murder in Las Flores, Belmopan”

  1. Johnny Cash says:

    We need the names…residents in the area and in extension, everyone needs to know their names and see their pictures so that as a community we can keep our eyes on them.

    Which gang do they belong to? If they are foreigners that became legal here, after they are convicted and serve their time, take their legal status and throw them across the border. Mek dem go play bad bway ova deh so.

  2. bmp says:

    sometimes police detained inocent people wile the real criminals are out there still laughing about wat they have done. . .

  3. roska says:

    If police had caught up with the robbers and shot and killed one, I bet the media would be interviewing their mothers so that they could spill their venom on camera…..and yelling “Abuse of Power by Police!!!” or “Mother claims son was unjustifiably killed by Police!!!”..

    But the story is not that sensational today…..

  4. Jackie says:

    Please be thorough on your investigations. If stolen items were found on them, it can be used as evidence as long as it doesn’t disappear, Belmopan is getting a reputation of not being a safe place like before, too much robberies going on and it seems being committed by the same group. We need the police to take them away from this society.

    Where is the minister of security- seems he was trying to clean somebody elses backyaad (Fabers) and neglecting his own…

  5. leo says:

    dats true Johnny . . . names & pictures would be better so u knw who da who
    come on, we need fi wake up before belmopan turn like bze city soon



  7. Storm says:

    Does anyone want to bet whether the killers are “home grown” or imported murderers?

    Belizeans ae dying like sacrificial lambs because of GOB’s failure to monitor the borders adequately, and I’ll bet this is another case.

    I hope the police can kill or capture the robbers, all of them. KILLERS NEED TO DIE IN THE JEWEL.

    If it turns out they’re foreign killers, Sedi can apologize and pay humanitarian compensation to their families. And send them home in wooden boxes.

  8. sarge says:

    what the heck u doing out of ur bed at that hr…whoring about some people look for thier own bad

  9. eric says:

    @ sarge you are an a$$, yours is the exact mentality that makes us feel as though we are living in a prison in our own homes. Really??? It is almost like saying the killers have a right to be out that late at night and the honest men should not be spending thier hard earned money in our local economy. Even if they were at a bar it is still money that they spend that the tax collectors will collect, even though it may go to pay for the paving of some minister street. You my friend are an accepter for you have accepted your helplessness against the evil of crime.

    @ Jonny Cash and Storm… I totally agree with you both. As I understand it these guys have been protected by a relative in the police force and they are not “homegrown”.

  10. Charl says:

    GOB need to take drastic action when criminals from USA or any part of the world are deported to Belize, cause a lots of bad boys,men and so forth are deported back to there country of origin with a long list of criminal activity. GOB need to inform the Belizean people on who these individuals are so they can be vigilante.

  11. Joe Lopez says:

    Belize is getting worst everyday, same people of belize are robbing and killing business owners especially those black people that go about robbing and smoking drugs out there!

  12. Johnny Cash says:

    Sarge, your comment is so wrong and makes no sense.

    Under the Constitution of Belize, we are free to go as we please at any time in our country. If they want to be out at a bar, the law still protects them…and the law still condemns the criminals late at night just as it does in the day.

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