Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2014. 9:05 pm CST.
Thursday, November 6, 2014. AARON HUMES Reporting: Deputy Prime Minister and Orange Walk North area representative Gaspar Vega this evening issued an official statement formally denying involvement in the July murder of Ramon Cervantes, Sr., 71.
On Wednesday afternoon the family of Don Ramon Cervantes, at a memorial event in Orange Walk Town, aired a recording of a purported phone call between his widow, Vilma, and one of the persons accused in the conspiracy, Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, who remains on the run from Belize Police.
In the recording, Castillo accuses Vega and a senior police officer of involvement in setting up a hit on Don Ramon’s son and Vega’s opponent in the division, Ramon “Monchie” Cervantes, Jr., that resulted in his father’s death.
Castillo and three others are accused as well of the death of housewife Sonia Abac in April of this year.
In his two-minute statement, Vega says bluntly, “I was not, and could not have been involved in any way with Mr. Cervantes’ death. All who know me, know that I would be utterly incapable of such a horrible act.”
According to Vega, he continues to sympathize with the tragedy of the Cervantes family, but he insists that their grief “cannot entitle them to seek and now wreck me and my family.”
He claims to be “hurt and anger[ed]” that a statement from Castillo, the “principal murderer” who Vega says “ran away to avoid justice,” should be used now, he says, to “endanger me and my family.”
Vega says he cannot understand how anyone can seek to place any reliance on what Castillo says, as he has “no credibility” as the chief accused.
Police have maintained that they have no evidence implicating anyone other than Castillo and his accused co-conspirators in the murders of Cervantes, Sr., and Abac, and while they continue to seek Castillo, officer Javier Alvarez is interdicted on disciplinary charges of prejudice to good order and discipline for selling Police-issue handcuffs to Castillo.
The Police Press Officer today sent out a release saying that Alvarez’ interdiction from duty is effective September 26, 2014.
Vega relies on this in his defense, saying that Castillo’s co-accused have “confessed and detailed exactly how” the murders were masterminded, confirmed by police’s gathering of evidence.
He also claims that there are “huge holes” and “obvious lies” in Castillo’s story as recorded.
In the end, Vega feels the “terrifying thought” that politics is behind the Cervantes announcement.
He issued a condemnation of what has been done, and repeats, while thanking his supporters, particularly those in Orange Walk, for expressing their anger at the allegations, that they are “false and outrageous.”
To those who disbelieve, he asks that they “look at the circumstances, and join in rejecting this malice, that has now served to put me and my family in danger.”
Meanwhile, we are told that the Cervantes family is to hand over the recording that they played at the memorial to Police in Orange Walk on Friday.
The police have renewed their appeal to the public to come forward with any information on Castillo’s whereabouts.
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