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#431043 - 02/21/12 07:43 PM MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,669
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Maria Novelo reporting…
“The motionless body of 27-year-old Miguel Martinez, a resident of San
Pedro Town was discovered sometime after five thirty this morning in a
prison cell in which he was detained by officers in the San Pedro Police
Station. Officials here have been tight-lipped about the incident; but area
representative Manuel Heredia was briefed by officer commanding the police
station. Heredia spoke to Love News shortly after and informed us of the

Manuel Heredia – Area Representative
“Early this morning Mr. Arceo called about five this morning that this guy
was with a machete giving trouble in the area and the Police went over
there and the buy had left and right in front of Phoenix and Ecological
Divers the two security, one from each one detained the guy with the
machete, called the police and he was escorted to the station whereby when
they checked later on the guy was dead. They called the doctor and the
doctor pronounced that he was dead. According to the police they have
allowed the family to look at the body that there is no physical sign of
brutality or so.”

Dr. Javier Zuniga pronounced him dead around eight thirty this morning.
Zuniga says Martinez was seen lying down with handcuffs in the cell with no
apparent wound. Zuniga mentioned that Martinez showed signs of psychotic
behaviour when he was admitted sometime last week.

Manuel Heredia – Area Representative
“They called from the Poly Clinic that this guy was behaving in a
disrespectful manner, even getting naked. They locked him up, the doctor
gave him a injection that day. I don’t know if it was tranquilizer but he
did cool off, wake up in a normal manner and was released.”

Just after midday, Martinez' body was removed from the cell and transported
via boat to the KHMH. Family members who spoke with Love News, say they are
baffled at the news of the death of their loved one. They mentioned however
that while Martinez was not an angel, he was not known to have had any
illnesses. In addition, police reported that no visible signs of physical
abuse was seen on the body and are looking at several angles into this


MORE INFO in the San Pedro Sun

and Ambergris Today

Last edited by Marty; 02/21/12 07:45 PM.
#431069 - 02/22/12 07:55 AM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,669
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Man Dies In Custody Of San Pedro Police

The police department is under pressure tonight after a police officer shot a man in the face last night and then today a young man died in custody.

We headline tonight's news with the death in custody. 32 year old Miguel Martinez died in the holding cell at the san Pedro Police station early this morning.

The San Pedrito resident had been picked up for disorderedly conduct at a resort five this morning and police put him in the cell.

Police say he was making noise in the cell, and when he quieted down they went to check on him and he was dead.

According to the San Pedro Sun though – they claim he was taken into custody from earlier in the morning and that he was found dead at 5:00 am. The son quotes his Stepfather, Emmanuel Diego, he was detained for walking with a machete in hand when a local resort complained that he was on the beach giving trouble. The security from the hotel handcuffed him and handed him over to the police around one in the morning.

A post mortem has not confirmed the cause of death but the Sun reports that Martinez was found dead, lying on his back with a pair of handcuffs around his wrists. His family says he had no medical issues and was seen in good health as recently as yesterday morning.

The SUN reports that police are questioning cellmates to determine if any violence was done to him.

Of course, the only concern is that it is the police investigating the police – and this becomes the third death reported in a holding cell at either San Pedro or Caye Caulker in the last nine years...

Channel 7

#431077 - 02/22/12 08:43 AM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,669
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline

Found dead in San Pedro Prison Cell

Miguel Martinez

There are three deaths to report tonight. We start first with the baffling death of a San Pedro resident, who died this morning in a holding cell at the island’s police station. On Monday night Miguel Martinez, who was recently released from prison, was taken into custody. The family is suspicious because Martinez was only in boxers when they found him dead. But police say they heard hear noises in the cell and he eventually went quiet. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez

Jose Sanchez

“Thirty one year old Miguel Martinez was disturbing the peace by Ecologic Divers. The owners called the police but he left and he went a few feet further down the beach to Phoenix Resort. He continued to hit the wall in a disturbing manner and the security officers detained and then handed him over to the San Pedro Police Formation which is across the street. But by morning, Martinez’s dead body was found inside a cell of the station.”

Martinez’s stepfather says he was in good health when he saw him over the weekend.

Emmanuel Diego, Stepfather of Miguel Martinez

“On Sunday about nine-thirty, ten in the morning, he was physically ok; he was walking right. He answered me and I spoke to him and I took off and went to work. Monday morning he was walking good, pretty good—not sick. Then on Tuesday morning that’s today, he is dead. The police told me that they got a report from one Mister Arceo saying he had a machete in his hands and beating his fence with machete. He called the police, and when the police got there, Miguel wasn’t there. He took off already; that wasn’t a problem at all because he wasn’t inside the property either. Then the police told me that they got a call from Phoenix—just across from the police station—that someone is there with a machete whapping the machete on the seawall. Probably disturbing tourist but he wasn’t dealing with no one. And the police man told me that the guys from Phoenix handcuffed him and called them to take him over. That is something that I wouldn’t want to believe because if a person have a machete in his hands I would be afraid and anyone would be afraid to confront that person. His pants; I met his pants outside the police station, in the yard of the police station. When they told me Miguel is dead, they showed him to me inside a cell block dead. He didn’t have on his pants; he was in boxers.”

Jose Sanchez

Emmanuel Diego

“What is the story from the police as to what occurred in that cell which I understand had four other persons?”

Emmanuel Diego

“Where I met Miguel, where they showed me where Miguel was at; Miguel was inside a cell by himself, he didn’t have no one inside his cell. He was inside a cell by himself face up, his head against the barrier, his face up dead.”

Raphael Martinez, PR, Ministry of Police & Public Safety

“Police consequently took him to the San Pedro Police Station and put him in a jail cell—that was just about after five o’clock this morning. Reportedly, he went on misbehaving a while and creating quite a bit of making noise in his cell. Later on, he was quiet. When police went to check on him, he was motionless. The police called a doctor where he was pronounced dead at just approximately eight o’clock this morning.”

Raphael Martinez

Jose Sanchez

“The step father says that when he went to visit him, his pants was outside, and he was in his boxers inside the cell. Was there some sort of physical interaction between Mister Martinez and the officers or possible cellmates?”

Raphael Martinez

“I was told that he was alone in his cell and as well as that there were no physical interaction between the officers and Martinez.”

Jose Sanchez

“But before he was in that cell alone, wasn’t he in a cell with other inmates; other people detained?”

Raphael Martinez

“I was told he was alone in his cell.”

Jose Sanchez

“So at this point, no signs of injuries on his body?”

Raphael Martinez

“Well we await a postmortem examination to determine whether or not he died from other means.”

Jose Sanchez

“Have they at least told you if they are treating the case as foul play? Is it suspected? Natural causes? Have they even given an indication as to how the case will go?”

Emmanuel Diego

“No way, nothing. What the inspector told me that’s what I run down to you just now and that’s what they said. That was it.”

Jose Sanchez

“There are still questions surrounding the death of Martinez that won’t be answered until the autopsy results are revealed. Reporting from Isla Bonita, Jose Sanchez for News Five.

It is a second death at the island’s police station; Gavin Sanchez was fatally shot in a cell on March eighteenth, 2010.

Channel 5

#431106 - 02/22/12 12:25 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
Sad, condolences to Mr. Martinez' family and friends. A very curious set of circumstances all around.

In one article it mentions 2 other deaths in SP that very day. One man shot in the face?

#431107 - 02/22/12 12:57 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: iluvbelize]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Well I only heard about one death not 3. I guess I should get out more.

If you read the stories they refer to deaths over the past 9 years and other stories are referring to deaths throughout the country - that did not occur on the same day but rather over the week.

#431108 - 02/22/12 01:15 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
You're right (as usual LOL) Amanda - I misread the portion re: three deaths in custody over the past nine years. I'm referring to the person shot in the face mentioned at the beginning of the article posted by Marty above, "The police department is under pressure tonight after a police officer shot a man in the face last night and then today a young man died in custody."

#431112 - 02/22/12 02:21 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 341
Tracker Offline
Tracker  Offline
That incident took place in Orange Walk.

If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.
A bullet fired,cannot be called back.
#431125 - 02/22/12 04:01 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,603
iluvbelize Offline
iluvbelize  Offline
Ah, okay. It was worded as though 'the police department' was that of SP.

#431127 - 02/22/12 05:24 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Yes the new reels get confusing and lean towards the sensational most of the time. Still all very sad news no matter how you look at it. It is so frustrating to know these events are occurring in our beautiful Jewel of Belize. This is why I truly believe that every little bit of help and support makes a tiny difference.

Choose an issue and see what you can do to help out. Mama Vilma's family home, Saga Humane society, the Poly clinic, the San Pedro Library, Remar - there are some many groups trying to make a difference - and don't forget all of these problems are OUR problems - and we can see progress and change.

OK, back to your regular campaign channel now.

#431194 - 02/23/12 12:17 PM Re: MAN DIES WHILE IN CELL AT POLICE STATION [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 12
Diver Damon Offline
Diver Damon  Offline
In-custody deaths are often attributed to either positional asphyxia or excited delirium, especially when the person was handcuffed at the time of death.

They're often difficult to pinpoint because there's little evidence other than the behavior of the deceased and description of what transpired immediately before the death.


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