Execution-style Murder In Northern Ambergris Caye: Is It Drug-related?
Benjamin Molina & Selvin Chi
There is another police investigation ongoing…Two men from the Corozal District who relocated to the island of San Pedro in search of a better life were found murdered on Wednesday morning. Their bodies were buried in a shallow grave, eleven miles north of the town, which has become a hot bed for narco-trafficking. When police followed a blood trail and pulled out freshly planted coconut trees, they made the grisly discovery. Duane Moody was in San Pedro today and spoke to the grieving families.
Duane Moody, Reporting
The island of San Pedro is considered a haven for both local and international tourists. But that picture is quickly shattering because of crime. Just after noon on Wednesday, San Pedro police unearthed the bodies of two men. Forty-one year old Selvin Chi and twenty-three year old Benjamin Molina were brutally killed and buried in a shallow grave in a remote area on the north side of the island. The men had been beaten before they were executed. Although he had visible injuries to the upper body, Chi was killed by a shot to the back of the head with a nine-millimeter gun. Molina, on the other hand, it is believed was the last to be killed; his shoulder was dislocated and a shotgun to the top of his head was used to snuff the life out of him.
Supt. Luis Castellanos, O.C., Coastal Executive Unit
“Fifty yards into nearby bushes from the beach side, they found what appeared to be a shallow grave. As a result the police dug the grave and they found the lifeless bodies of two persons who we later identified to be that of Selvin Chi and Benjamin Molina. What we observed from both persons, it appears that they both received firearm injuries to their heads. So far the investigation is still young and we are trying to figure out what happened with these two gentlemen.”
“Sir we understand that these bodies had various degrees of bruising like if they were beaten. Can you confirm this?”
Supt. Luis Castellanos
“That is correct. One of the persons, in particular Mister Selvin Chi, he appeared to have bruises in the right upper part of his body. The other gentleman, Mister Benjamin Molina, his right hand appeared to have been dislocated.”
The discovery was made by a search party, including police officers and coast guard personnel, who combed the area located eleven miles north of the town. It came following a report made by a coworker earlier on Wednesday stating that the men went out looking for coconuts, but did not return.
Supt. Luis Castellanos
“On February the eighteenth at about eleven thirty a.m., a gentleman by the name of Jose Wagner, fifty-one year old caretaker who lives in the north part of San Pedro, mile eleven more or less…visited the station and reported that two of his coworkers had gone missing since the seventeenth of February, 2015 at five a.m. He indicated that they left to pick up coconuts and up to the time of him making the report, they did not return. As a result of his report, we visited the area where they found about the eleven and a half mile they found what appeared to be blood.”
Both men, originally from Corozal, were living on the island for some time now. Today, family members gathered at the cemetery several miles outside the town where autopsies were performed on the bodies of the men before being buried. Due to the lack of a morgue on the island, the bodies were kept overnight in makeshift coffins filled with ice behind the police station. The families are asking for justice.
Ornildo Jones, Father of Benjamin Molina
“I tell him son, why are you going for that? You are going to work with me tomorrow, which was Monday. And he said no dad; I have to go for this cause that is seven hundred dollars. That’s why I gave him the hundred and fifty dollars. I tell him son go through then, drink some beers. And he went. They didn’t take me up there to see him, but when he came, as I saw his face, I opened the box and everything at the police station. I saw a bullet wound here, a big hole here and an opened big hole over this side. And his hand was kinda broke up and his face was awful, you know.”
Margarita Chi, Sister of Selvin Chi
“I asked them why dehn needed an identification and they said that it was because of some bodies that they found up the coast. So I told them that I don’t have any. So they tell me that a member of the family needed to go with them to identify the body. My older brother Calvin went with them. I tell him he is stupid to go up the coast, use your brains. Dehn kinda people use unu sprang-head because when unu find things weh unu want, dehn kill unu and dash unu like dog anywhere and nobody know. but I tell ahn dehn wah do wah big mistake cause you dah my bredda. I noh want hear nothing about coconut because when I gone dah Mister Moses house fi gone look fi he identification….if Mister Moses noh involve ina this, how he know all ah dehn details?”
“I know you guys can put this in the media and ask for justice on my behalf please. If not, I’m going to take justice on my hands and they won’t like it.”
The remote area in the northern part of San Pedro is known for illegal activity and is frequented by beach combers looking for wet drops. And while police did not confirm a motive for the crime, they believe that it may have been drug related.
Supt. Luis Castellanos
“I wouldn’t be able to comment on that—if they were involved in drugs or not. The caretaker indicated that they went out to pick up coconuts in order for them to do coconut oil. However, we know that the area is a known area for drug peddlers who we call them playadores or in the English term would be beach combers.”
No one has been detained in connection with this double murder. Duane Moody for News Five.