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#499049 - 12/16/14 09:32 AM Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire
Marty Offline
San Pedro police are have launched an investigation into a shooting at the northern end of Ambergris Caye which left a man from Punta Gorda Town dead.

It's in that zone of Ambergris where persons, referred as "playadors" or beach combers, go looking for cocaine wet drops. That's the illegal activity that police believe 24 year-old Peter Castillo was involved in this morning when he and his 2 companions were spotted. Instead of fleeing, he reportedly shot at the coast guard with a shot gun.

The Coast Guard told us more today:

Commander Elton Bennett - Vice Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard
"As part of the Coast Guard's maritime security strategy focusing on the area of Northern Ambergris Caye Bacalar Chico area and the area of Rocky Point, Coast Guard continues to dominate the area with patrols. We identify this as a geo-strategic location encountering transnational and organized crimes."

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Which is where law Coast Guard Officers encountered this man, who was killed in an armed encounter. The officers say he aggressed them first. That's after his 2 companions fled.

Commander Elton Bennett
"This morning around 10:30 hours the Belize Coast Patrol was located about 800 meters south of the Belize Mexican border in the area of Bacalar Chico where the coast guard identified three armed men approaching the patrol harbor location. The patrol sentry then verbally challenge the three armed men that were approaching the area and instructed them to stop and put down their firearms. Two of the men turned away and escaped whilst the third who was armed with a shotgun, raised his shotgun as though he had intensions of engaging the patrol. One of the member of the patrol then open fire on that individual fatally wounding him. Three shots were fired, one shotgun with 5 cartridges were recovered with one cartridge inside the chamber of the shotgun. The deceased has been identified as Mr. Peter Castillo of Punta Gorda. The patrol commander reported that this individual who got shot, of the three men, he was the one who raised his firearm as though he had intensions of engaging the patrol. It was for this reason that that individual got shot. The other two turned their backs and fled. They fled in the opposition direction away from the patrol and for this reason the patrol did not engage the fleeing men."

It is now in the hands of the police department, and the man, had he survived the encounter, would have been charged with firearm offences, at the least.

Commander Elton Bennett
"San Pedro police was notified and were transported to the area to process the scene. The body of the individual was then transported to Belize City. This is the first time that the Coast Guard has come in contact with this individual. We understand that the police in San Pedro so some reason had some contact with him a few weeks ago."

San Pedro Police have started their own inquiry to ensure that all the facts of the Coast Guard's version of events check out. The San Pedro Sun Newspaper reports that investigators retrieved the dead man's shot gun and cartridges, and the gun of the officer who fired the fatal shot.

Channel 7


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#499055 - 12/16/14 10:00 AM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Shootout between civilians and Coast Guard leaves one dead

Police on Ambergris Caye have launched two simultaneous investigations into a shootout between civilians and Coast Guard officials that turned deadly. The incident happened sometime between 10:30AM and 10:45AM on Monday December 15th, 21 ˝ miles north of San Pedro Town. Police claim that there was a shootout between civilians believed to be questionable ‘beach combers’ and members of the Belize Coast Guard who were on a special operation in the area.

Deputy Commander of the Coastal Executive Unit attached to the San Pedro Police Formation Inspector Henry Jemmott said that at the time of the shooting, the law enforcement officers were carrying out a joint special operation. According to Jemmott, six Coast Guard Officers were on foot patrolling along the beach in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve area when they came under gunfire. The law enforcement officers returned fire, fatally wounding one of three civilians. Jemmott told The San Pedro Sun that information gathered from the crime scene suggests that a second person may have been injured, but managed to escape along with another accomplice.

Workers in the area said that at least 15 gunshots were exchanged in an uninhabited area along the beach, located less than ˝ of a mile from the Belize-Mexico border on Ambergris Caye. “Police observed the motionless body of a Creole male, about five feet and two inches in height, with what appeared to be three gunshot wounds… one to his left hand, another to his right hand and one to the chest,” said Jemmott. The motionless body was found a few feet away from the beach, in the bushes. Police have identified the victim as Peter Castillo, originally from Punta Gorda Town. “Also recovered about 10 feet from the body was a pump action shot gun with six live rounds. A little distance away was a bag containing seven more 12-gauge cartridges.”

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


Coast Guard Patrol Under Fire…Kills One Man

In San Pedro, there was also a loss of life. Investigations, both criminal and internal, are taking place into a shootout involving the Belize Coast Guard and three civilians in an area known as a hot spot for wet drops. The incident occurred this morning at around ten-thirty twenty-one and a half miles north of San Pedro Town. San Pedro police confirm the deadly exchange of gunfire occurred between civilians believed to be beach combers and members of the Belize Coast Guard who were on a special operation in the area.

The Deputy Commander of the Coastal Executive Unit attached to the San Pedro Police Formation, Inspector Henry Jemmott, says that the Coast Guard was on foot patrol along the beach in the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve area when they came under gunfire. They returned fire, fatally wounding Peter Castillo, who is originally from Punta Gorda. He was hit on his hands and chest.  His lifeless body was found in a bushy area close to the beach; nearby was a pump action firearm with six live rounds.

There is reason to believe that another person may have been injured, but fled along with the third person. Witnesses say that as many as fifteen gunshots were heard in the area which is located less than half a mile from the Belize-Mexico border on Ambergris Caye. The Criminal Investigation Unit and Scenes of Crime attached to San Pedro Police descended on the scene this afternoon.  San Pedro Police took custody of the firearms used by the Coast Guard and the six officers have also been cautioned by police. As we said, simultaneous investigations are taking place.

Channel 5


Coast Guard kill “playadores;” two others escape

The elite Coast Guard fighting unit, who were conducting an operation in the Bacalar Chico area of Northern San Pedro, about half mile from the Bacalar Chico Border with Mexico, was engaged in a shootout which ended with the death of a man who had allegedly fired at the officers at about 10:30 this morning, about 21 miles north of San Pedro.

Police say that when the Coast Guard returned fire at three men, one man was killed and one of the other two men was believed to be hit, but they both escaped. The Coast Guard did not sustain any casualty.

The dead man has been identified as Peter Castillo, Jr., 21, of the Water Reservoir area of Punta Gorda. He was shot in the heart and both arms, and died on the scene. His body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem.

Inspector Henry Jemmott, the Deputy Commander of San Pedro police, told Amandala that they and the Coast Guard were conducting foot patrols in the area of northern San Pedro when one of the sailors saw three men, believed to be beach combers, or “playadores,” who normally search the area for drugs from wet-drops washing ashore. The men were coming towards them, armed with guns, said Jemmott.

The officers shouted at the men to stop, said Inspector Jemmott, but the man in the front, who was armed with a 12-gauge pump-action sawed-off shotgun, raised the gun and fired at the officers.

The Coast Guard immediately responded and returned fire at the men, and in the gunfire exchange, about 15 shots were fired.

After the shooting, police and the Coast Guard officers went to the area where the men had been and saw the motionless body of a man with three gunshot wounds, one in his left hand, another in his right hand, and one in the chest, said Jemmott.

The motionless body was found a few feet from the beach, in the bushes.

Jemmott said that they also recovered the sawed-off 12 gauge pump action shotgun, which was loaded. It was about 10 feet away from the body, and a short distance from the body, the officers found a bag containing seven live 12-gauge cartridges.

The San Pedro police believe that the victim and his two accomplices are “playadores.”

Amandala


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#499087 - 12/17/14 09:44 AM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Fatal Shooting Happened During A "Wet Drop" Crack Down

Tonight 6 men are detained as the result of a police sweep of Northern Ambergris Caye. This is part of an operation that was launched over the weekend to crack down on illegal narcotics activity on the north end of the island - due to increased "wet-drop" activity. Yesterday the law enforcement operation resulted in the fatal shooting of Peter Castillo. He was shot by the Coast Guard who say they were forced to fire after he pointed this pump action shot gun at them - as seen in the san Pedro Sun.

Today his family came from Punta Gorda to Belize city for the post mortem and his aunt spoke to Daniel Ortiz:..

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"Listening to the news last night when they said Peter Castillo, I immediately call his father in PG who is my cousin and I ask him if it's true and he said yes my sister, that is how we greet each other because we are old. So he said yes my sister, its Peter. So I ask what was Peter doing in San Pedro and he replied that he went to look for a job."

Commander Elton Bennett - Vice Commandant, Belize National Coast Guard
"The Coast Guard identified three armed men approaching the Patrol Habour location. The patrol sentry then verbally challenge the three armed men that were approaching the area and instructed them to stop and put down their firearms. Two of the men turned away and escaped whilst the third who was armed with a shotgun, raised his shotgun as though he had intensions of engaging the patrol. One of the member of the patrol then open fire on that individual fatally wounding him."

Daniel Ortiz
"Does that sound anything like the Peter you know?"

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"Honestly, no. On a whole Peter was raised by my mom which is his grand aunt and you know raising up with your grandmother, you will listen. So, Peter was well brought up. So, at the end of the day I don't understand how Peter reached San Pedro or how he got into what happened to his yesterday. Honestly I don't know."

Daniel Ortiz
"Was he hanging out with anybody that you know of is that is on strange character that you would not approve of?"

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"No, not that I know of."

Commander Elton Bennett
"Patrol commander reported that this individual who got shot, of the three men, he was the one who raised his firearm as though he had intensions of engaging the patrol. It was for this reason that that individual got shot. The other two turned their backs and fled. They fled in the opposition direction away from the patrol and for this reason, the patrol did not engage the fleeing men."

Daniel Ortiz
"Do you believe the story that the Coast Guard has presented?"

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"No, I don't."

Daniel Ortiz
"What causes you to doubt their version?"

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"Because the understanding that I got from his older brother who is in BDF, he said when he went to the morgue his hands were up, like he was surrendering. So, how could they shoot a man who is surrendering? That's my thing."

Daniel Ortiz
"So you concede that the times when you guys weren't around, he could have been participating in illegal activities? Do you concede that, because you don't know for sure."

Alfonsa Castillo, aunt of deceased
"Well I won't put my head on the block because when you have your loved ones who anybody who you are familiar with around, they show you a different picture. But, honestly I believe Peter is not that kind of person. I guess he was following friends or something of that sort. That is all I could say; he must have been following friends."

Commander Elton Bennett
"This is the first time that the Coast Guard has come in contact with this individual. We understand that the police in San Pedro, for some reason, had some contact with him a few weeks ago."

Witnesses in the area told the Sun that over a dozen shots were fired and they are looking for the persons who were with Castillo to charge them for attempted murder.

Presently, the activity called "playar" - or beachcombing is very active because of recent cocaine drops - or wet drops in the area. Every day and night, playadors or beachcombers from two San Pedro based drug camps scour the beach at the north end for any floating parcels of drugs.

Channel 7


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#499101 - 12/17/14 02:29 PM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: Marty]
champion Offline
Where exactly are we talking about. With regard to strolling along the beach while on vaca, where do we stay away from. Is this near Tranquility? How far north are we talking?
_________________________
Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol

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#499102 - 12/17/14 03:55 PM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: champion]
ragman Offline
The area described in the news report is about a half mile from the Mexican border which is a fair distance north of Tranquility. I guess I've walked a mile north of Tranquility and the border is quite a ways north of where I was. Admittedly I have only a slight knowledge of this area but I would feel quite safe at Tranquility and the immediate area.
_________________________
Jim
Somewhere on a beach in Belize

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#499104 - 12/17/14 04:24 PM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: Marty]
champion Offline
thanks Jim.
_________________________
Reality is only an illusion that occurs due to a lack of alcohol

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#499107 - 12/17/14 07:13 PM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: champion]
joey2angels Offline
Depends which way the wind is blowing....a "square grouper" can come floating in anywhere.

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#499265 - 12/23/14 05:20 AM Re: Coast Guard Kill “Playador”; Claim He Opened Fire [Re: Marty]
Red Dog Offline
I have been stopped and have had the Coast Guard come on the beach when I was in the Bacalar Chico area to check things out including locals that may not belong!
I applaud there efforts and work in the area.
There are only a few reasons to be in Bacalar Chico.
1. To visit one of the most interesting areas of Ambergris!
2. Because you own or want to own a pice of Bacalar Chico.
3. You work for someone with property in BC
4. You are a fisher, guide or guest of ether
5. You are a ranger or Coast Guard member working in the area
6. YOU ARE IN THE DRUG TRADE

ALMOST ALL of anyone on the beach falls in group 6, and it is great that I feel safe going to Bacalar Chico thanks to San Pedro Police and the Belize Coast Guard, thank you for returning fire!


Edited by Loren and Sue (12/23/14 05:21 AM)

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