The infiltration of Belize’s border and our forest reserves by Guatemalan Xateros has become a growing national problem. But on Tuesday evening, one such incident escalated almost into a double murder for a Belizean Alcalde and another man. The two villagers of San Jose in the Toledo District were reportedly on a trek deep in the jungle of the Columbia Forest Reserve on Tuesday evening when they came under attack. But while Alcalde Emelino Sho suffered a serious gunshot wound to his lower abdomen and a gash over his right eye, he mustered the strength to walk back to safety for several miles along with his colleague, Alfredo Sho. Acting Officer Commanding the Punta Gorda Police Station, Sergeant Octaviano Victorin, told News Five that they have no clues who the attackers were or what their motive was, but that patrols in the area continue.

Voice of: Sgt. Octaviano Victorin, Ag. O.C., P.G. Police Station

“We received information of two persons injured in the Edward Central Area. We dispatch police to that area where initially investigation revealed that the person that was shot is one Emelino Sho, who is the Alcalde from San Jose Village and Alfredo Sho, both of them are from San Jose. Our investigation shows that both persons left San Jose on October ninth, 2010 en route to Doyle’s Delight in the Cayo Area for an expedition. It was found out that they left from that area on Tuesday around eight in the morning and while travelling they stopped at the Union Camp area. This is around three in the afternoon. Around three-thirty p.m. while at the same spot, there were three Hispanic male persons believed to be from Guatemala—known to be Xateros—they approached them and asked them for food. They provided some food to them and after they get through, there was one that was armed with a machete and that same person took out a small firearm from his pants waist and it was then that he fired a shot at the Alcalde, Emelino Sho, which caught him on the lower part of his abdomen. He then fired another shot to Alfredo Sho. However, an altercation happened with Emelindo Sho where the aggressor manages to injure the Alcalde on his forehead. They did not get robbed or nothing. The three Xateros, they just walked through the Navarro Perez Road and they left and they went. Both injured person managed to walk and they reached San Jose last night between eight and nine pm. It was until this morning that we were informed and we went there and with the assistance of the ambulance, and those people were brought to the Punta Gorda Hospital where both of those persons have been transported to the Dangriga Polyclinic for medication. The last information we received was that they were in a stable condition and recovering pretty well at this moment.”

Marion Ali

“Have you established a motive for the shootings, the attack?”

Voice of: Sgt. Octaviano Victorin

“Not at this moment. We are unable to record statements from these people and we are working on it to see how quick we can get it to see what the motive is or what really transpired.”

Over recent years, fly-overs at the Colombia Forest Reserve have revealed the high level of intrusion in the protected area and the patrols that are conducted on the Belizean side of the border have shown very little effectiveness in deterring the pillaging.

Channel 5