Posted: Monday, March 13, 2023. 9:15 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Approaching the “Ides of March,” Belize is doing better in controlling murders in 2023 compared to 2022.
The unofficial murder count stands at 12 as of tonight – four in January, six in February, and two so far in March. In 2022 there were 26 murders across the first three months of the year – 12 in January, eight in February, and six in March, en route to a total of 113 for the year.
The Belize Crime Observatory has confirmed the January figure, with two murders in Belize City – those of Hilberto Martinez and Lionel Budna on New Year’s Day and one each in the Cayo and Orange Walk Districts – Eufemio Garcia in Yo Creek and Vivian Ramnarace in Belmopan, though her death came three weeks after she was shot in her home on New Year’s Eve along with husband Jon and brother-in-law David.
February’s murder victims were Alburn Rivero in Ladyville; Pablo Coc along the roadside in San Isidro, Toledo; Andre Vernon in Belize City; Russel Bernardez, beaten and dumped at the Lords’ Ridge Cemetery; Dane Matute, shot and killed near Guanacaste Park outside Belmopan; and Frank “Animal” Garcia in Dangriga.
In March so far there have been the murders of Brian Perez in Belize City and Elder Arana on Ambergris Caye.
This figure does not include suspected victims of homicide including Akeem Augustine, whose body was found in Belize City in January, and Freddy Chicas, whose body was found last week in the Mile 8, George Price Highway area. Both men had previously been reported missing.
According to the Observatory, there were 61 murders in the Belize District; 20 in Cayo; 18 in Stann Creek; seven in Orange Walk; five in Corozal; and two in Toledo. Every district save Corozal has recorded one so far in 2023.
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