Important Note: This Internet version of 7 News is a verbatum
transcript of our evening television news script. Many interviews on our newscast
are conducted in Creole. In the interest of clarity for our foreign readers,
we attempt to paraphrase the Creole quotes in English
Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura is disgraced tonight. The #2 police officer has been served with a notice of intended prosecution for a long list of charges for his role in a traffic fatality - in which, it is being alleged, he was driving under the influence.
On Saturday morning at about 5:30, Segura was driving a police issued Nissan Pathfinder to his home in Benque Viejo when he crashed head on into a taxi which was heading to San Ignacio. It happened just outside Succotz village and the female market vendor who was in the passenger seat died on impact, while the driver suffered multiple injuries. His condition has been upgraded from critical to stable - but as you'll hear from his family later on, he's far from being out of the woods.
But, while the dead and the injured are the bottom line on this story - probably the most damning evidence against Segura is a cell phone video, which went viral on facebook this weekend. We warn you the video may be objectionable to some - but because he is such a senior official, we have to show it. It was captured shortly after the accident and it shows Segura in a white shirt and uniform pants, first putting his pistol into his left pocket and then absently saying, "Wow!"
Segura then cooly pulls out a cigarette, takes a puff, and then goes to pull up his pants - which is unbuttoned. What makes it most jarring is that all this is happening ten feet from where the accident victim 54-year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia lies dead in the taxi.
It is being seen as conduct most unbecoming for the second most senior police officer in the country - and it would be bad enough by itself - but, of course, it is far worse because a woman is dead.
The police senior command has been under scrutiny this weekend because of the public apprehension that the Department would - as it has historically - protect one of its own. But this evening at 4:00 pm, in Belmopan they held a press conference at the ministry of national security to show and prove that they are dealing with the Segura case expeditiously and with all seriousness:..
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "I have written to this ministry for onward transmission to the security services commission for the interdictions/suspension of the Deputy Commission of Police Mr. Segura from active police duty pending the outcome of this investigation. The postmortem I know on Ms. Yolanda is schedule for today and that postmortem is ongoing. I have not had any communication in terms if it has been concluded and what is the results of the autopsy. I also directed the officer commanding Benque who is investigating this matter to ensure that he took the necessary specimens of blood to the `National Forensic Lab today and I know that he is there. The analysis is being done, but we have not yet received a result of that analysis."
"The issue of the alcohol concentration would be one of the issues. Remember as I have said we've submitted the statements that we have today to the acting DPP. If the acting DPP is satisfied and reach a conclusion then he will either tell us to charge and he would advise us with the appropriate charges which more than likely will be manslaughter by negligence, driving without due care and attention etc. But we are not at that stage yet because the acting DPP as I said is still reviewing the files."
"In terms of his continued future in the department, as we indicated earlier he is entitled to due process. If it reaches that stage where he is charge then he will have his fair day in court and the court will arrive at some determination or when that arrives then we move from there."
"As I said presently with the suspension he is basically interdicted and is away from actual duties."
"I have known Mr. Segura his entire police career. He is an outstanding, hardworking officer recently promoted to deputy because of the excellent work that he has done. He has always been professional in the discharge of his duties and as I said all of us are with fault, none of us are faultless. From time to time all of us do things that we should not do and that is part of being human and so I will not condemn him. I will not condemn anybody. I will say that we will do what we need to do to assure the family and the nation that we are thorough and on top of this, but we will also not forget that he is a fellow officer and the process takes its place."
Yolanda Consuelo Valencia was the mother of five. Later on, we'll have more from the press conference, plus the fallout from the accident and the video.
But, the actions of the senior command are probably no consolation to the families, first, of the deceased market vendor, and, second, the injured cab driver. Tonight, one family is preparing to bury a mother of five, Yolanda Consuelo Valencia, while the other is tending to 28 year old Yanie Evan Cu, who was transferred to the KHMH because of the seriousness of his injuries.
Today, Cu's family spoke to Monica Bodden outside the KHMH and they told her that they blame Segura for their son's condition:..
Azucena Cu- Mother of Yanie Evan Cu "He is not good, he is injured right now. Today the doctor told me that he has to be operated on today on his hand."
Monica Bodden "What are his injuries?"
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "His hand are his hip are broken, his foot is injured."
Monica Bodden "I understand that he is conscious, but he isn't talking."
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "He is talking right now, but sometimes he doesn't want to talk, he just want to sleep."
Monica Bodden "So he is critical?"
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "Yes."
Azucena Cu- Mother of Yanie Evan Cu "All the people who saw the accident took videos and everyone say that Mr. Segura was in the wrong way. He was drinking and so when the accident happened the police took Mr. Segura out and held him by his two hands. When he came out he was drunk and his pants was down. When Segura came out, he zipped up pants, the put a cigarette by his mouth and smoke. He laughs and two police took him by his arms and away from the road. I saw that Mr. Segura with a lady. Everyone says that Segura come from the Casino at 5 o' clock in the morning."
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "He came out from the casino at 5 o' clock then at 5:35 he crash with my son on Benque Road."
Monica Bodden "You do believe that Mr. Segura was in the wrong?"
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "He is in the wrong because all the witness say that Mr. Segura have the fault."
Geovannie Brackett "Mr. Segura is the deputy commissioner. Are you concern that he may be treated differently? Do you know if they took samples of urine and I heard that there was a fire engine that was called to wash the vehicle?"
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "Yes, they took video of that."
Monica Bodden "You think you are going to get justice being that this man is high in police?"
Pedro Cu - Father of Ivan Cu "There should be justice because if the law doesn't make justice we are going to make all the people come out and protest to lock up the man."
Azucena Cu- Mother of Yanie Evan Cu "After the accident happened the police from Benque Viejo del Carmen took out Segura from his car and he had on long pants, but his pants were down, he put it up and then the police clean everything - all the evidence. The fire engine reach and wash everything, so that Segura doesn't have any evidence. When I reach to San Ignacio Hospital, about an hour Segura reached with the Benque Viejo police, then I saw that Segura didn't have on any long pants, he had on a short pants. He already bath, he was laughing and was talking on his cellphone."
Monica Bodden "This was one hour after the accident and when you guys went to the hospital?"
Azucena Cu- Mother of Yanie Evan Cu "Yes that's after the accident like an hour after when he reached the hospital. He was fresh, he already bath and had on short pants. Everyone says why didn't the media came. People was calling but nobody reach, so I think the police had clean all that evidence because of Segura. What happen to us, it's not a dog that got killed, it was my cousin. My son is in danger right now. I need $350 right now today to pay. If I don't pay...."
Monica Bodden "The $350 is for what?"
Azucena Cu- Mother of Yanie Evan Cu "Just to take one x-ray."
She says Segura hasn't contacted them and the family needs twenty thousand dollars for a complex surgery which will determine if Yanie Cu will still be able to walk,
There were two shootings in the city on Friday night - which left three men injured, but, luckily none of the injuries are life threatening.
At around 11:30, 31 year old Charles Hinds and 41 year old Eldon Solomon were walking on Elston Kerr Street in the Collet Area when they were approached from behind by three men on foot, one of whom fired several shots at them. The attackers then ran off toward Central American Boulevard where a car was waiting for them. Hinds narrowly escaped a fatal injury, as gunshots grazed the top of his head. He has been treated and released from the hospital. And 41-year-old Eldon Edward Solomon was shot to the back - and he was expected to be released from the hospital this afternoon. Precinct two police were swift to make an arrest:..
Sr. Supt. Alden Dawson, OC, Precinct 2, Belize City Police "Charles Hinds Jr., 31 years, self-employed of a Pelican Street address who was seen with two apparent gunshot wounds; one to the top of his head and the second was a graze as well on his head. Also there was Eldon Solomon who was suffering from gunshot injury to the upper back. Investigation reveals that both male persons were socializing in Elston Kerr Street when 3 male persons approached them from behind and fired several shots causing the injuries. So far police has made one arrest in this case where Devon Bailey, 22 year old, was charged for two counts of attempted murder, two counts of deadly means of harm and two counts of grievous harm."
Tonight, 22 year old Devon Bailey is in jail after he was denied bail. He appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where he was read two counts of attempted murder, two counts each of grievous harm two counts of use of deadly means of harm. He is due back in Court on October 2, 2014.
Police say they are looking for the two other men, and no motive has been established.
A man was killed on Unitedville Village on in the wee hours of Saturday morning. He is 34 year old father of 7 Victor Vargas, known as Nico. According to reports, at around 3:00 am, Vargas was in a fight with a younger man, a 19 year old. The teenager allegedly stabbed him in the throat. Vargas ran trying to get help, but no one opened for him, and he collapsed unto the street dead. Today his family told us it is a bitter end to a life full of conflict:..
Eddie de la Rosa, Cousin of deceased "A fight was happing right here, he lives on the other lane and was coming home. He went to a party and was intoxicated. He came to check on the fight that was happening here, but instead of parting the fight, they just stab the man. They said that the guy that killed him was with him earlier, but apparently he stayed at the bar by the entrance and the guy came and socialize with different crowd and got into an argument."
Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander, Cayo Formation "Saturday sometime after 3, information was received of a stabbing incident in Unitedville. As a result San Ignacio police visited the village where they arrived on Albert Street and there they were directed to the residence of one Middleton. Upon arrival police saw the lifeless body of a Hispanic male person lying face up in a pool of blood on the verandah of the gentleman's house. The body was check and we notice that he had what appeared to be two stab wounds; one on the left side of his neck and one on the right-side of his neck. Investigations revealed that the gentleman Mr. Victor Vargas, 38 years old, resident of the said village had a misunderstanding with a fellow of the village which resulted in him being stabbed."
Mainor Vargas, brother of deceased "The first thing in the morning when I came here I saw the blood and I follow the trail of the blood and; he ran like maybe 200-300 yards from where he got stab."
Daniel Ortiz "Did anyone try to render assistance to help him?"
Mainor Vargas, brother of deceased "What is known is that he tried to knock on his neighbor's house door, but I think he didn't get any response from that door and when the man came out he was already dead."
Insp. Reymundo Reyes, Deputy Commander, Cayo Formation "The person is known to the police. Once we arrest and charge him for an incident in Buena Vista for a crime of murder, but later on the charge was withdrawn from him, but he was no stranger to the police."
Mainor Vargas, brother of deceased "It really hurts me and I hope the police give us justice."
Vargas was well known to the police. The suspect is still at large.
Today in Orange Walk - an unusual case went to court. A customs officer was charged for manslaughter for a case that occurred 5 years ago. That's June of 2009, when 19 year old Onorio Oba of San Victor village in the Orange Walk District WAS SHOT and killed. Oba was shot when Customs Officers came under attack from villagers and opened fire to protect themselves. The dispute was over a cargo of contraband which customs had seized.
Well, 5 years later police say they have new evidence, which enabled them to charge customs officer Charles Flores. Flores was assigned to river patrols at the time and he participated in the initial seizure. This afternoon, he was taken to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court where he was arraigned on a charge of manslaughter. He was released and bail and ordered to return to court on fifth November.
And while police claim to have new evidence pointing to Flores as the Officer with the gun, 7News has learned that at least two BDF soldiers who were on patrol with him have attested that he was in the river with them when the shooting happened in the village.
The event, which is one of the worst attacks in Customs history saw six officers come under sustained attack, and feeling their life was in grave danger, basically had to shoot their way out of the village.
On Friday we told you all about the murder of 38 year old Oscar Richard Rubio. He is the Belize City resident who was beaten on July 30th, left in intensive care with a major head injury, and went un-noticed by police until he died from that injury last week Wednesday August 13th.
Well, while police might have been late to catch up on the crime, they were relatively quick to make an arrest. Investigators have arrested and charged 32-year-old Jamaican Mark Dallas as the person who inflicted those fatal injuries.
This afternoon he was arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was remanded until October 2, 2014.
Dallas told the court that he has been in Belize for 22 years. After that, he started to rattle on about being possessed by demons and was escorted out of the Courtroom and back to the holding cell.
Dallas is believed to have struck Rubio across the head with an object in a drunken brawl on July 30th in the Conch Shell Bay area.
On Friday, we told you how Senior Superintendent, Edward Broaster had caught the thief who broke into his house.
Well, today, that man, 39 year old Richard Codd went to court where he was charged for burglary.
He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the single charge. Codd told magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart that he didn't want to waste the court's time, and that Broaster had already gotten back his items and that he, Codd, had fixed back his broken window. For the offense of burglary, Codd was sentence to the minimum jail term of 7 years. In his mitigation plea, he told the magistrate that he is sick and someone has put him under an obeah spell.
Codd is no stranger to the police or the court. He has a number of convictions, five of them are for crimes of dishonesty going back to 2003.
He stole a DVD Player a flashlight, a pair of computer speakers, a pair of Puma slippers, all to a total of $375.00.
Another trough of corruption has been unearthed at the Ministry of Health and two senior administrators are suspended because of it.
For months, we've been alluding to mismanagement of funds in the south - and today - the Ministry of Health announced that Administrators of the Dangriga and Punta Gorda Primary Care Provider clinics have been suspended. They are Harry Sabal for Dangriga and Kayla Hoare for Punta Gorda. The Ministry's press release says that irregularities have been identified in preliminary reports from the Auditor General for those clinics. They have been placed on immediate suspension as a precautionary measure.
The release adds that the administrators will be given the opportunity to respond once the reports are final.
Last week we told you about the camp that police are offering to Belize City families who have troubled teenagers in their house. It's a boot camp run by the BDF at Camp Belizario in Cayo. It can last for four to six weeks depending on whether the students are enrolled in school.
But, one Belize City family today reached out to us to say one week was to long. Their 16 year old son has come back with a story of wretched and systematic abuse that's, honestly, hard to believe until you hear them out. We spoke to mother, son, and a neighbor today to hear their allegation of constant beatings at the hand of police:..
Voice of: Georgia, Mother "I called him and he said to please come for me because they beat me. I ask what happen and so he was crying over the phone and he said to please come for me because they beat me, they got me in mud and water and if they move the GSU beats them."
Voice of: 16 year old "They have a long chain and they whop me in the back with it and they stomp me in my belly when I am explaining to them. They don't want to hear anything - they still beat us. I was on the ground because I was in bad pain and as I turn over one of the soldier kick me in the belly and whop me on my foot several times. One of them stomp me in my jaw and burst up my jaw. They had to give me an injection in my jaw to make it numb. Everybody who was in my barrack house got beaten. A soldier took a chain and whop a young man about 4 times at the back of his head and his head was bursts up. He must have gotten stitches in his head. Everybody got beaten - everybody saw their blood."
"Every 5am in the morning, once you can't do 80 pushups they beat you."
Jules Vasquez "Are you sure you are not misunderstand what is going on? Maybe they are trying to say that maybe they are giving you all a boot camp to try to strengthen you up or to teach you some discipline."
Voice of: 16 year old "We were at the station at Raccoon Street, Mr. Hamilton told us that it is a camp where we will learn a trade and that we would be better off in life and when we went there nothing like that happen. All what we did as we got drilled so they beat us. I went there thinking that I would learn a trade from them but I never knew that this is what would happen to me."
Voice of: Georgia, Mother "My son call me crying and I talk to the man who my son borrowed the phone from and he said the only way my son could go down was if the parents go for them."
Junior Willoughby, father "They said they were going at the BDF camp to learn something for the future or to defend the country if that be the case, but we are not sending them for them to get beaten up - that is stupidness."
Voice of: Georgia, Mother "Any parents who are listening to this right now, don't make any police come and say that it's just a little training or a camp or a little swimming - don't believe them because all they do is beat them."
While it is administered by the BDF, Police are in charge of the camp and we spoke to Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster who told us he is certain that the young man's allegations are completely false. He says no GSU personnel have been assigned to the camp, and added that his officers just went there today and he can confirm that there are no abuses. We will keep looking into the story.
When a loved one dies, there is an extended process of grieving that follows. Visiting the grave site is an important part of that but the Gomez family's grief and sadness turned into rage when they visited their loved one's grave in Lord's Bank on Friday. They realized another grave was built and attached to their relative's grave. Keisha King, the daughter of the deceased, Marie Gomez, expressed her anger at the situation and stated emphatically that she and her family want the offending grave removed.
Keisha King, Daughter of Deceased "Actually Friday evening when I went up there to take flowers to the grave I was shocked to see that situation; two grave combined as one grave. That situation is so disturbing. We have no connection and that's like a complete stranger to us. We have no idea."
Courtney Weatherburne "You tried to reach out to them as well to ask them exactly what happened and why they built the grave right beside your mother's?"
Keisha King, Daughter of Deceased "Actually I did and their response is that they didn't know that there was a mixed up grave. They thought it was their mother's grave, so that's the situation. Actually our family wants them to move the grave because it's like an outright disrespect to our family and if we have a family member that dies and if we want to put beside her we don't have that privilege to do that."
We spoke to a relative of the deceased persons buried beside Marie Gomez, who wished to remain anonymous and she stated that there was an error and the matter has already been resolved by elevating her loved one's grave in order to make the distinction between the two graves. But the Gomez family is not happy with that solution, they want the grave completely removed and are asking the authorities to intervene. Marie Gomez died and was buried 15 years ago.
As we've shown you in the top of our segment, Deputy Commissioner Segura is on suspension from duties as the #2 Police officer after he was involved in an accident which killed a 54 year-old woman, and put her taxi driver, who is also one of her family members, in the hospital. There is the lingering allegation that he was driving under the influence of alcohol when it happened.
We've confirmed with Assistant Superintendent Daniel Arzu, the Officer Commanding Benque Police, who is also in charge of the investigation, that the forensic testing of the blood samples taken from both Deputy Commissioner Miguel Segura and Yanie Cu are in.
When we asked if he could disclose them to us, Arzu told us that he had to seek instruction from the Commissioner of Police if he had permission to release them to the press. He then advised us to call Commissioner Whylie directly. When we did call the commissioner, we couldn't get him on the phone.
We also contacted the George Lovell, the CEO in the Ministry of National Security, he also confirmed to us that he had been briefed of the findings, but he told us that he could not release them because he would rather have it in writing to confirm for himself what the results are. He told us that he would be much more comfortable releasing them tomorrow.
And what about the man himself who's at the center of this inquiry? We tried to get comments from him today. We contacted Miguel Segura himself this morning by phone. He refused to comment saying that he would prefer to wait until the investigation runs its course. When we asked him directly about that allegation that he was driving under the influence, and that is what caused the accident, he declined to comment.
And while the blood alcohol test is one thing - the video is so far the most damning indictment of Deputy Segura. We take a closer look at its significance tonight:..
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The amateur video picks up where Deputy Police Commissioner Miguel Segura is standing just outside of the driver's side of his Government issued Nissan Pathfinder. With a vacant expression, he drags on a cigarette and pulls up his unbuttoned pants.
The cell phone camera jerks away, and there just feet away is the body of including the body of 54-year-old Yolanda Consuelo Valencia.
Rt. Col George Lovell - CEO, Ministry of National Security "I saw the video. My initial impression is that he seems not to be too concern over what has happen, but wanted to take a cigarette smoke. But then again I do not know precisely what portion of the activities or when precisely that happened. Did it happened as the incident or the accident happen or was it when he was trying to relax, trying to contemplate over what precisely had occur. It's unfair to me to really use that small clip that I have seen. I saw a clip where he was taking a cigarette and he was trying to fix his attire and I don't know precisely when that was taken, I don't know precisely when that was taken…i don't know if it is something that was taken just as the incident happened or long after it happened. So it is unfair for me to draw a conclusion based on that small clip that I've seen."
In the wake of the revelation that Segura was involved in the accident, the families of the taxi driver,
28 year-old Yanie Evan Cu, and Yolanda Valencia are furious, laying serious allegations against Deputy Commissioner Segura.
Mike Rudon. Ch5 "The allegations are that the deputy commissioner was intoxicated. Has your investigation shown that he was or was under the influence and again this is pending the results of the sample?"
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "Like I've said, people are saying that he was. I cannot say he was; that is the reason why we ask for samples. He complied, he agreed, he gave samples and the analysis is being done. But that is what people were saying."
At this point, Segura's actions while behind the wheel ARE being questioned. The assessment of his mental state will be determined by the test of his sample. If it is conclusive that he was driving under the influence - and there is no conclusive test yet which says that he was - his boss, Commissioner Whylie says that his lapse in judgment will have to serve as a significant reminder that drinking and driving will not be tolerated.
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "We are all human beings. We all prone to or none of us are perfect. Yes we run campaigns to educate the public about drinking and driving and driving under the influence and those this will continue. We educate the public about community policing. We educate the public that it's against the law to commit crimes, people still do. I mean its individual decisions and choices. I don't see how that reflects on the department because even as officers individually we have our rights, we have our lives; we socialize differently and so on, so I don't think that that will stop the department from sending the message that you should not drink and drive. Perhaps it might re-enforce it to the public as well as other members of the department."
So, a critical part of story was told by the cellphone footage recorded shortly after the incident. But, many times, there are moments captured like this on video, which never make it out in the public because officers often confiscate the civilian's recording devices and delete files. Sometimes, they try to block members of the press from doing their jobs by threatening them with deletion of their images and videos.
The different media houses have all encountered something like this once or twice over the years, and today, Commissioner Whylie was asked give the department's position the recording of police officers doing their duties. He told us that he doesn't have a problem with civilans or photojournalists recording these materials, as long as they are respecting the cordoned area of the scenes:
Allen Whylie - Commissioner of Police "There is no policy from the department that people cannot. We are living in the age of technology where all these smart phones have video. As long as you are outside the area that the police have cordoned off to deal with their scene, if you are outside of that I do not see any issue why the police should be taking away or confiscating anything. I would hope that people would continue to record these things because it will keep my officers consistent and professional and be honest and even if they confiscate one, I don't think they will confiscate 10 and 20 because I am certain there is more than one persons. As I say we don't have a policy. If the police obviously have the area cordoned off, if they have barriers up that you should not be climbing to see then that's a different matter. But if it's cordoned and you are behind the cordon I don't have a problem with it. I just wish that sometimes we would exercise better judgment because I don't think anything is gain by showing people gruesomely killed or murdered and those sort of things and so I would just ask that some sensitivity be given to the feelings of whoever is the deceased family because family always remain."
In our coverage of this accident today, we spoke with the families of both victims in Benque, but due to the late hour of the police press conference, we were unable to bring them to you tonight. We'll have their comments in tomorrow's newscast.
The mother of 24 year old Dwayne Young is desperate for answers about her son Dwayne Young who has been missing for 22 days.
He went missing on July 28th after a domestic dispute and has not been seen since. Today she stopped by our studio for a second time to express her devastation and to make her plea to the public.
Angelica Morrison, Mother "I want to say to the public that anyone who sees my son to call me or contact my daughter or the police because he is missing and I want to find him and I want him to come home safe. Anybody who sees him, my number is 621-0176 and my daughter's is 60 -2221. I want my son come home and he was working when this happened to him. I am tired of not sleeping, I can't even eat. Every day I have to get up to try to look for him, all in the bushes looking for my son and asking people and like no one is not telling me anything about my son. I want the police to look into it to find him because it is going for a month now and I want to find him to come home."
If you have seen or heard anything about this missing person's case you are urged to contact the police or call Dwayne Morrison's family at any of the following numbers: 650-3267, 663-1282, or 601-2221.
Last week we told you about Tiffany Simpson's Mobile App Development course package entitled "Tech it Easy" which is designed to teach students how to create their own mobile applications. Well, the PUC has propelled this vision to a larger scale. The PUC is hosting a week long workshop to train youths in Mobile application development. The workshop is being held under the theme "Inspiring Solutions for Global Challenges through Innovation and Creativity". The coordinators of the workshop discussed the importance of such a workshop and the holistic approach to technology in transforming not just Belize but...the world!! Courtney Weatherburne reports:...
The workshop began today and will conclude on Friday with presentations from the participants.
We've confirmed that during the course of our newscast, there was a murder which happened in Hopkins Village, in the Stann Creek District.
Information is sketchy at this time but we've been told that a teacher and his wife were the victims of a home invasion, and in the course of the crime, the woman was killed. The teacher is currently receiving medical treatment, and police currently processing the scene.
Police from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department are searching for 27 year-old Carim Cruz, a man living in the US, after he shot and killed a Belizean American in that Nevada City.
News reports from out of Las Vegas say that early on Saturday morning, Diana Serrano and her cousin, Rasheda Lopez was at Geisha House Restaurant at around 2:30 when a man opened fire on the crowded business place, after he got into an argument and a with one of the victims, and several patrons of the restaurant. Diana Serrano was fatality shot, and died on the scene, while Rasheda Lopez was rushed to the University Medical Center.
In the wake of the shooting, Carim Cruz has become a wanted man, and is considered armed and dangerous. Serano is a Belizean mother of 4 living in US, while Cruz is believed be Belizean also.
On Friday we told you how police raided the Kolbe Prison in Hattieville and came up with cell phones, with and without SIM cards in the cells of what the GSU says are key gang members. Other items found at the Kolbe Foundation are drugs, stingers and borers ("boras").
Back in the City - and also on Friday, the GSU found 87.1 grams of cannabis in Cadle Alley. The drugs are believed to be for a well-known member of the Victoria Street Bloods Gang who peddles drugs within that area.
More drugs were confiscated in the Conch Shell Bay area at 1:30 pm that amounted to 1.9 grams of cannabis and at 6 pm the GSU found 12 more grams of cannabis in the George Street Turf on Plues Street. The sweep continued on Saturday in San Ignacio which led to the confiscation of more drugs, 173.4 grams of cannabis was found on Carmen Street in Santa Elena Town and 4.6 1bs of cannabis on George Price Avenue. This search also led to the arrest of 47 year old Mark Francis Peters who the GSU says is a drug peddler and sells drugs from his residence on Jeronimo Thompson Street. 13.9 grams of cannabis which was found in one of his pockets. Peters was arrested and charged for "Possession of controlled drugs".
Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse has returned from a 5 day visit to Taiwan. The purpose of the visit was to further strengthen relations between Belize and Taiwan. Hulse signed a Memorandum of Understanding between his Ministry of Immigration and the Ministry of Interior of Taiwan relating to human trafficking and Immigration issues. Senator Hulse returned to Belize on Friday.