Family of Hilberto Sotz claims vindication as officers charged

Thursday, June 11th, 2015. BMG: 18 year old Hilberto Sotz’s injuries were not from natural causes, as contended by police on the island of Caye Caulker who detained him in a burglary investigation.

A post-mortem examination confirmed the opposite view, that the teenager sustained trauma to the head from being beaten, possibly by police, before his death.

Leonard Nunez, police constable #628, and Hallet King, police constable #819, both attached to the Caye Caulker 11401560_480191175464604_3121990738573486751_npolice sub-formation, were arrested and charged jointly for the murder of the teenager and arraigned yesterday afternoon before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Both police officers have been remanded in custody until July 14, 2015 and they also face internal disciplinary charges.

The entire community of Caye Caulker, including Sotz’s parents, did not buy the police’s story of Hilberto dying from natural causes. Both of Sotz’s parents spoke to the media yesterday, expressing how they felt after seeing the post mortem examination results and knowing for sure that police officers killed their son.

Santorino Sotz, Hilberto’s father, said: “the head of the police told us that my son never died by natural death. Because the doctor proved that he get hard licks in his head because they find blood on his head that would cause to killed him and they find in his heart hard thick blood like they slammed him – and that is what caused the death.

So that’s why the police told me this morning that no matter what kind of officer, they will deal with it and they will find later on what kind of charge those two officers will get. My son isn’t sick, I know hundred percent that they killed my son.

That’s why I always say it’s them – and you see the proof now? They are saying my son just stop breathe. My son stop breathe because they done cut his wind, punch him up, knock him down and the proof is here now. This, I will deal with them because my son just died, they cut his life.”

Carmelina Sotz, Hilberto’s mother, said: My heart it feels like I’m not living. I adored my son, I love my son. All I’m asking for is I want justice; I want them pay for my son’s life. They won’t bring him back alive. That’s what I’m asking, I want justice.”

The family has hired attorney Dickey Bradley to take up the case of unlawful death of their son.

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