By Aaron Humes: 2022’s murder count to date is estimated to be 37 – 27 through the first three months and ten so far for the month of April.
Estevan Baeza was brutally attacked by Belize Defence Force soldier Raheem Williams in the center of Orange Walk Town after an argument over a cigarette lighter.
There was a run of five murders in four days, starting with Tyreak August and Carlton “Yankee” Gladden in Mahogany Heights, Belize District; the murders of Mark Lord and John King back-to-back the following Saturday, and the discovery of the body of Daniel Gutierrez in Belmopan.
The Easter weekend saw three more murders: security guard Oscar Chiac was set on at his workplace at the Armenia Government School; a petty argument between Jose Cedillos and a group of women led to his being ambushed at home in Guinea Grass, Orange Walk, by Nelson de Jesus Segovia who remains on the run; and Shaquille Patnett was shot dead on Kraal Road in Belize City. The most recent murder is that of Michael Clark in Roaring Creek, Cayo District, on Wednesday night. Additionally, the body of Kendon Logan was retrieved from the Macal River on Tuesday night although his cause of death is unknown.
This month’s murder count already surpasses the Belize Crime Observatory count of six for 2021, putting Belize ahead of the 2021 pace for murders to date as only 30 murders had been recorded through April. Additionally, 61 shooting incidents have been recorded, one ahead of 2021’s count to date of 60. Interestingly, the count for May through July of 2021 is 30, including 20 murders in May alone.
Three more major crimes (206) have been recorded through the end of March compared to 2021, including eight fewer burglaries, one more robbery, and two more thefts, and five incidents of rape and 11 of unlawful sexual intercourse. 18 more persons have been arrested for major crimes to date, including ten for murder, 14 for robbery, and 32 for burglary.
The Belize District (18) and Stann Creek District (5) have seen the majority of murders as well as shooting incidents, while the majority of incidents of theft, robbery, and burglary were reported in the Belize and Cayo Districts.