A a number of prisoners escaped from Kolbe Foundation late this evening. We have deployed a number of Police and BDF to assist prison in the search for these escapees. Before escaping they were able to disarmed one of the prison guard of his weapon.
The general public is therefore asked to be extremely vigilant and careful when using the highways and not to pick up any stranger along your journey. The prisoners are considered to be armed and dangerous. Anyone having information on the whereabouts of these prisoners can call 911 or 0800TIPS. While there is rumors that Mason and associates are among the escapees, I have confirmed with the Director of Kolbe that Mason and associates are not among the escapees.
Video below: Prison guard who was overpowered by gang of escapees, and stripped of his uniform gives police his acocunt of the mass escape.
These are the names and pictures we have received from Kolbe as confirmed escapees. The general public is asked to call 911 or 922 if any of these persons are seen in your area. Remember they are considered armed and dangerous.
Click photos for more pictures
Below is the list of the other prison escapees. This brings the total number of escapees to 28, 26 of whom are Belizeans and 2 are of Guatemala national. We assured the general public that the ministry of national security will not rest until all these prisoners are back in prison where they belong. We also warn the General Public not to harbor none of these fugitive, doing so is a crime and anyone found doing so will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Thanks, together let us work to recapture these fugitives and make our communities safer.
Click photos for more pictures
Re: Huge Jailbreak from Hattieville Prison, 28 Escape
#545526 10/14/2004:15 AM10/14/2004:15 AM
Mass Prison Break, 28 Escaped, Tonight, One Is Dead
The biggest mass prison break in Belize's history happened last night - 28 men escaped from the prison - and, tonight, 24 hours later, two prisoners are dead, two are injured, and three have been recaptured - while more than 20 escapees roam the countryside of the Belize District - playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with police.
It is a serious domestic security situation - and police are swarming the rugged terrain of the Belize District at this hour, determined to find the escapees. They are believed to be in the area of the Sibun between miles 17 and 31- hemmed in between the river and the George Price highway.
The fatal flashpoint came this afternoon when a joint BDF - BSAG unit and police team came into contact with a sub-grouping of escapees off the Coastal Highway in an orange orchard.
The escapees had stolen an M4 Carbine assault rifle with two full magazines from one of the prison guards, and he opened fire on the security forces with that, hitting one soldier in the foot, and grazing a police officer.
Here was the distress call that came from the law enforcement personnel on the ground in that moment:
Voice of Police Officer "Officers hit, Coastal Road. We have 2 BSAG men who got shot. We need urgent assistance. We are under fire, Coastal Road, orange orchard. Over."
But, without backup, they managed to kill the alleged gunman, Akeem Smith. He was fatally shot - and police recovered the M4 carbine - which had a single round left. The Commissioner of Police has confirmed his identity. The BDF solider was taken to the KHMH and his injury is non life threatening.
Police have caught three other escapees - we'll have their identities later - and, as you just heard, one has been killed.
And, that's where it is tonight - as more than 20 escapees are in the tough terrain of the Belize District, police on their tails. They have made contact with the community - travelling in a pack of 20 - and have committed what are reported to be petty acts of theft. They are not believed to have any food and water, so there is increasing desperation. The public in that area is warned that it is a live threat and the men are still to be considered armed and dangerous.
The Jailbreak 28
So, while that's what happened today, how did they escape last night. It's a historic event - 28 men all busting out at once - but it also appears to be a monumental failure in protocols and procedures.
Cherisse Halsall has the short version of this story:
It's the largest Prison break on record - this prison guard spoke to police - after he had been stripped, tied up - and had his gun taken away.
Interview of Prison Guard "I went and I put in first I put in Ponce then I put in the 17, then I gone up to put in Dominguez. So when I finished put in Dominguez that done for me now when I came to go into the tower. Guerra put his knife in my throat. So I can't do anything. They took the tower keys and they start to open the cells with the knife at my throat. I didn't move, because I was afraid he killed me. So right away everybody started to come out and then they handcuffed me and then I saw this man bawling, they had a cloth in his mouth and he was wrapped up. He couldn't speak. They handcuffed me too and they dash me on the floor with him. They said that if we didn't complied with them we would die."
He chose life, and a total of 28 men, some of them armed, fled the prison under the cover of night.
But police had been alerted and were quickly on the scene searching the nearby grasslands for the frightened and desperate convicts.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "We immediately mobilized our specialized units and deployed them to the Kolbe Foundation. We also sought the assistance of the BDF special assignment team and they too came in to assist the police and the prison authority in the search of the escapees."
"It was rather difficult for us to do much last night due to the fact that it was that and so what we did was to insert some of our officers along with prison officers in strategic locations where we believe these escapees might use as a result to escape the prison area."
But the tower guard was detained at around 1 and the inmates didn't flee the prison until night had fallen meaning that both restrained officers were held hostage during a 3- 5 hour gap.
It's an anomaly in the timeline that prompts the question of whether the breakout was some kind of inside job. But those are questions that National Security C.E.O. George Lovell says he won't be prepared to answer until after an investigation.
George Lovell, C.E.O., Ministry of National Security "Before we get ahead of ourselves and say things here which is more based on speculation, what we intend to do is to have an independent investigation into this matter. Where if it is that any of these prison guards are in fact culpable, they will be held accountable for their actions. But we don't want to get ahead of ourselves and start to point in a particular direction when we don't have all the evidence to lead us in that particular direction. So I would want to reserve the kind of response that we would give to that question until we get the facts."
But that day could be a long way away with the immediate concern being the recapture of those 28 escapees, many of them murderers.
And this afternoon an exasperated Commissioner made a plea to the public and the families of the men to either hand them over or convince them to surrender to avoid bloodshed.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "And so we are hoping that with the assistance of the public and I want to take this opportunity to appeal to the general public if it is that you have any information in relation to the whereabouts of any of these escapees to please call 911 or 922 numbers. It would be of great to us. The quicker we can get these individuals off our streets the better it is going to be. I also want to appeal to family members of these escapees that if it is that you know where they are it is not too late for them to surrender. I don't foresee them running from the long arms of the law for too long and if it is that we have to be continuously pursuing them upon being caught the fact that they are armed can cause things to go opposite direction and so if your loved one is among these escapees please it's not too late to ask them to surrender themselves to the authorities and make life easier for them and for us."
So, to go over all that we have covered so far tonight: two more escapes have been recaptured - bringing the total to 5, with one dead, and 22 still at large.
The manhunt continues, and while police have taken away the M4 Carbine assault rifle that had been stolen form a pitons guard, the gunshot wounds to a BDF soldiers from the inmates - suggest strongly that he was hit with a shotgun. So, the escapees are believed to have at leat one other weapon.
And, thirdly, police have received reports from within the prison population saying explicitly that it was an inside job - with the cooperation of at least two prison guards - the same ones who allegedly would supply certain prisoners with drugs. The alleged ringleader is ??rl?? ??nt??? - who was identified as that by the prison CEO yesterday, along with ???? Gu?rr? and ???l ???rr?.
Here again is the prison CEO with the breakdown of the very unusual circumstances dejecting how the prisoners got free:
Virgilio Murillo, C.E.O., Kolbe Foundation "The prison officer from the Administrative Segregation of the Prison was lured under the pretense that there was a prisoner that needed assistance, and the reports are indicating that when he went to offer that assistance, despite not being clear on what assistance was needed, the inmate that told him about the prisoner needing assistance followed behind and apparently there was the other workman out at the time and that workman hit him, and when he hit him he took away a pocket knife that he had and he went towards the office of the Administrative Segregation area and he waited for the other prison officer who was busy out checking other cells, and when the prison officer reached the office then he stuck him up with the pen knife and threatened to kill him. But I must say the first officer after they knocked him out, the first officer who was lured he was knocked out, slightly unconscious, they threw him in a cell and they took off his uniform and they put it on and when the other guy came off the outer building from checking the reports have it that he was stuck up with the same pen knife that was taken away from the first officer and he too was escorted to the cellblock where the other officer was already locked in and he was locked up, his uniform was taken and apparently they were handcuffed and gagged based on what I heard. The inmate with the knife then went up and he climbed up the stairs to the tower and he went and relieved the officer of the M223 rifle and pretty much escorted him down at gunpoint and also locked him up in the cell with the other two. That is what we have, and they held them there at gunpoint from 1 o'clock there about in the afternoon until 6' o'clock when it got dark but of course not before taking out other prisoners with the keys that they relieved one of the officers of. So that is our position and situation currently."
Again, that narrative suggests the possibility of collusion - and if not, then a massive breakdown in standard operating procedures and basic system vigilance. We'll keep following this aspect of the story very closely.
And to go over those names, the alleged ringleader is ??rl?? ??nt??? - who was identified as that by the prison CEO yesterday, along with ???? Gu?rr? and ???l ???rr?.
Two Prisoners Caught, 22 Remain Free
Tonight, 22 prison escapees remain on the loose, after two were recaptured today. They are Guatemalan Juan Ramirez Garcia who was captured at the Lord's Bank Junction and Kevin Buller, who was captured this afternoon. They have both been taken back to the Central Prison.
They join 3 others who were recaptured yesterday:
Mark Pelayo, Christoper Bradley, and George Bednarik. They have all been charged for escape from prison.
And, as we reported, another escapee, Akeem Tillett was killed yesterday - more on that later.
So that leaves 22 at large, desperate, dangerous and armed criminals - still believed to be within the Belize District, roaming the countryside, likely desperate for food and water. Again, they are considered to be armed and dangerous - and anyone seeing them or anything suspicious is asked to call 922 to share anonymous information.
And Police say there was surely something suspicious happening at the prison which allowed this breakout - which is the largest in Belize's history.
Was it an inside job? That's what many have been asking. After all, how could 28 men escape at 1:00 pm, supposedly hold three guards hostage until 6:00 pm, set 28 men free, and no one else in the prison knew.
Well, information coming from within the prison population says that one of the escapees, Carlos Montejo, set up the breakout along with a number of the prison guards - the same guards who supply them with drugs, the prisoner claims.
Police are looking at that information very closely - but the priority right now is to find the 22 who are still at large.
Today, Charisse Halsall went to the orange orchard off the Coastal Highway where one prisoner was killed and another captured. Here's here story:
Tonight, 23 Prison escapees are still roaming the countryside.
That's after one of them, Akeem Tillett, a man charged with burglarizing the YMCA among other convictions, was killed yesterday in an exchange of gunfire with the police.
Cherisse Halsall, reporter
I'm standing on a Feeder road off the Coastal. This area called "the orchard" is where a BDF Lance Corporal was shot, and a policeman grazed. Gunfire came out of the bushes/greenery while they sat in a mobile. They fired back, and when the smoke cleared escapee Akeem Tillett was dead and beside him police found the M4 Carbine assault rifle that had been stolen from the prison.
4 of Tillet's comrades either surrendered or were captured by police. Leroy Young was working near the orchard when the bullets started to fly.
Leroy Young, Works near the orchard "We weren't thinking that they would come here. We saw the pickups going down the road there and after that, we heard gunshots, yes. It was after the gunshots they started to shoot down there that we realized the prisoners were down there. When they came out they just came through the gate and they went."
Cherisse Halsall: "So you didn't see them with anybody in custody?"
Leroy Young, Works near the orchard "No, no, no because we are way here so we couldn't see inside the vehicle."
Police continue to intensely search the area of the Belize District between mile 17-31 where they know that the convicts have robbed and terrorised at least one person.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "We still believe that the area between mile 17 and mile 31 on the George Price Highway right in that vicinity of Democracia on the Coastal road, the Sibun River area and so we're concentrating our search there. A family had reported that about 20 of them had arrived at their home last night and that they took their food supplies and left. So we are sure that they are in that area and we hope that before the end of the day we should be able to have the majority of them in custody."
Authorities still hope that these men who, by now are desperate for food and shelter will turn themselves in and that their families, and the wider public will refrain from harboring known fugitives.
We note that while an M4 Carbine was recovered - apparently is not the only weapon the escapees have. 7News has been reliably informed that the BDF soldier who was injured in that shootout, Lance Corporal Flowers was hit by shotgun pellets - which are lodged in his leg and chest. That likely means the escapees also have a shotgun - which has not been reported stolen at this time. Flowers is recovering from his injuries which are not not life threatening.
Police constable Whakyem Martinez was also grazed to the waist in the exchange.
Tonight, half of the prison escapees who led a mass breakout on Monday
have been recaptured. When we left you last night - 22 were still at
large; tonight it is 14, after 8 more were caught between last night
and this afternoon - including alleged co-ring leader Joel Sierra.
We'll tell you all about them in a minute, but we start with the 7 who
were taken to court today to be arraigned on escape charges.
They were arraigned in the Magistrate's Court on the crime of escape
from prison, and 5 out of 7 have pleaded guilty.
They are Guatemalan Juan Ramirez, and the Belizeans: Christopher
Bradley, George Bednrick, Orlando Smith, Kenroy Gamboa, Kevin Buller,
and Mark Pelayo. They were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Tricia
Ramirez, Bednrick, and Gamboa did not waste the court's time, and they
pleaded guilty to the crime. The Senior Magistrate sentenced all 3 of
them to serve 1 year in prison which is to run consecutively to any
other sentence they were serving before they escape. Bradley and Smith
also pleaded guilty to the charge, but they were given a stiffer
sentence of 1 year and 3 months, which is also to run consecutively to
any sentence they were serving before they escaped.
Pelayo pleaded not guilty to his charge, and so, he has been remanded
back to prison until December 4th, his next court date.
In the case of Kevin Buller, he also pleaded not guilty to the charge,
and his explanation to the presiding magistrate was that the other
escapees threatened him into joining the prison break. He has been
remanded into custody until December 4th, which his next court date.
After the very lengthy arraignment, we got a chance to speak with
Buller's attorney about his claim that he was forced into participating
in the escape. Here's how that conversation went right outside the
Ronell Gonzalez - Attorney for Kevin Buller
"This morning, Mr. Buller was arraigned for the offense of escape from
prison, and he was pleaded. He pleaded not guilty, and that plea was
accepted by the magistrate. What happened, it is common knowledge that
there were 3 masterminds behind this entire escape. And, my client's
instructions are that he was given an ultimatum. He either went along with
the situation, or he would have been dealt with by the other prisoners who
were there. So, basically, he was under duress. So, to speak to act in that
manner, I should state for the record that my client, Mr. Buller, was
actually on remand for a very basic offense. He's on remand for the offense
of breach of curfew. That, in itself, is a bailable offense. The facts as
to why he was there remanded on such a basic offense is beyond me. I would
have to investigate further into that."
"What was his explanation for taking so long to either turn himself in or
to get somewhere where he could be safely away from these persons who put
him under duress?"
"Could you imagine the situation of being in fear, now that you're an
escapee from the prison? And, [according] to my instructions again, he was
found somewhere lurking in the same Hattieville area. He wasn't in hiding.
He isn't badly beaten or so. So, I find it that he was lurking, hoping to
be found, and to be returned to the prison."
COMPOL Says 14 Armed And Dangerous Men Remain At Large
And, pretty soon, 7 more escapees will be going to court. They include
those caught between last night and this afternoon.
The two caught last night are 24 year old Orlando Smith from Roaring
Creek Village, and 20 year old Kenroy Gamboa from Belize City.
And then this morning, 22-year-old Deon White from Belize City was
And, most recently, this afternoon: alleged ringleader 30-year-old Joel
Sierra from Santa Elena, Cayo, 27 year old Phillip Bowen of Hopkins
Village, 30 year old Daren Vasquez of Teakettle Village, 20 year old
DeAndre Guiffaro of Seine Bite Village, and 20 year old Victor Galeano
of Cristo Rey Village.
This morning - before those last 5 were caught - we spoke to the
Commissioner about those who have been recaptured and the 14 dangerous
and desperate men who remain at large:
Chester Williams - Commissioner of Police
"We continue our manhunt in respect to the prison break, and so far we have
recaptured a total of 9 of the escapees leaving a total of 19 who are still
at large, of the 9 who have been recaptured one of those individual's,
Akeem Tillett was shot and killed during the manhunt in the coastal road
area. The others have been charged by the police for escape and will be
arraigned in court today."
And while 7 were taken to court one was not. That's Deon White, the escapee
who was caught just this morning, his sister explained what happened when
she saw him.
"So, what was your physical reaction when you see the news this morning
that Deon White has been safely captured and he has the picture with his
Deidra Avila - Deon White's sister
"Well I felt so good the eye water even drop and everything because I gone
sleep and said I hope they find my brother, I wish I could even see the
news that how, I just felt so happy man, I feel good now and I hope they
find the rest safe and everything. This morning they called me for me to go
to jail. My mother and I went well. Well, I'm glad how we got to talk to
him. I was so happy to see him because it had been months since we'd seen
him but the only thing, I'm disappointed about that hurts my heart is that
they beat him up so bad that it made me even cry."
"Might it have been injuries that he got while on the run because you know
they were in the bush and so too?"
"But he said he didn't run from them, when he saw them he was drinking
water and when they were coming he just put up his hands. He said they
stood on his ears and his toenail came off. His hands were bruised up foot.
I just can't even talk I just cried I don't like seeing him in pain."
"You said that it's a bad move he made because he was on remand and you
felt he would have gotten off and he made the situation worse for himself.
Why he get eena this breakout?"
"That's the same thing I want to know, even if you see somebody running. I
wouldn't have ran because I would make worse on myself. Like I said, you
never know why the run, so I can't judge and say he run. Even if you force
them and thing but I still don't now I don't think any of them would want
to run again because he done see what happen to him now, how they beat him
bad, so I don't think he would want run again. I don't think anyone would
want to run again."
5 more learned that lesson well: Phillip Bowen, Deandre Guiffaro, Darren
Vasquez, Victor Galeano, and alleged ringleader Joel Sierra were caught at
the Mile 25 community this afternoon: hiding in A Taiwanese resident's
So that leaves 14 escapees who remain on the run, the commissioner says he
considers them to be armed and dangerous, and he hasn't ruled out the
possibility that they've acquired even more weapons.
"Sir we have information that the BDF Lance Corporal was shot with a
shotgun do those escapees still currently have that shotgun in their
"We have only recovered the M4 Carbine, we have not recovered any other
weapon from them so if that is the case then yes, they would still have it.
Of course, a man on the run from the long arm of the law will surely try
his utmost best to arm himself so that he can ward off and defend himself
from the security forces and so like I said before we expect that they are
armed and dangerous."
And while those men had yet another day in court, 14 of their comrades are still on the run. They made a mad dash for freedom and four days later are still managing to evade capture. But while they are said to be armed and dangerous the fact of the matter is that, with very few places to hide they're becoming more and more desperate.
And while the public looks on wondering whether any of them will get away scot-free, I went into our archive to find out who these men are and what they did to end up as public enemies numbers one through 14.
Tonight, 14 of the initial 28 men who escaped the Belize Central Prison remain on the run But where are they running to? the Commissioner believes they've gone home.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "We have credible information that a number of these escapees have returned to the area of residence prior to prison and they are being facilitated by family members and friends, I want to sound the warning that it is a criminal offense to aid or abet an escaped prisoner or a convicted person, or a wanted person and once it is that we are to find any of these prisoners at the home of anybody or if we can obtain concrete evidence of anyone facilitating them that those concerns will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
On Monday he called them mostly murderers.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "From the escapees 25 are Belizeans, 11 of whom were either convicted or on remand for murder and the others are from varying degrees of crimes and the other three are Guatemalan nationals."
But who are these men and what exactly have they done?
The alleged ringleader is Carlos Montejo the. Back in 2010 Montejo was one of 4 men charged with Engaging in an illegal fight, a fight that resulted in his friend Efrain Ramirez getting his throat cut. More recently Montejo had been convicted of robbery.
One of the least violent offenders of the bunch is Lords Bank resident Erwin Lanza, Lanza and a cousin were caught with a 3 inch marijuana plant as well as an illegal firearm. They were fined but Lanza seems to have forfeited the fine and instead ended up serving 2 years in jail.
This man was convicted of robbery and harm but what his rap sheet doesn't specify is that he punched a teenager off his bike before stealing it.
And as we move down the list we encounter 4 accused murderers. The first Guatemalan national Santos Edwardo Zepeda Lopez was on remand at Kolbe Foundation for an ammunition offense. He's also under investigation for the shocking murder of 59-year-old Rosa Chincilla who was found with a cut wound to her throat at her residence on Lindo's Alley.
Up next, an escapee who's meant to be serving a life sentence. He is - - year old Michael Faux, the man convicted for the cold blooded murder of Sidney Bradley. Bradley was shot at his door mouth.
Jaroud Lamb is convicted of the muder that resulted from a 2013 robbery of Belmopan's La Choza Bar. And this isn't his first time running from the long arm of the law he also fled police custody in 2014 while being transported from prison to a court date. He was eventually found in the San Ignacio Cemetery where police were able to capture him after shooting him to the right knee.
And in perhaps the most disturbing case of all Kendale Flores. The man who launched a state of emergency. Flores was charged for murder, conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm in the March 2020 murder of four year old Kia Herbert.
Others at large include convicted thieves Albert Banner and Luis Paiz, Convicted robber Elser Oseguera, convicted Burglar Luke Bowen, Convicted drug traffickers Elroy Henry and Oswaldo Perez, and finally Enrique Martinez who was serving time for a conviction of manslaughter.
And while they remain on the run, the Commissioner will continue to sound the warning that aiding and abetting criminals is itself an offense.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "I again want to appeal to family members, it is best to have your loved ones surrender themselves to have the security forces out there pursuing them. We continue to consider these escapees as being armed and dangerous and the safety and security of our personnel will always be paramount."
Today makes exactly 1 week since 28 inmates escaped from the Belize Central Prison - the largest prison break on record so far. Police have been aggressively pursuing these escapees, and at news-time tonight, 12 of them remain on the run.
16 have been recaptured, and 15 of them are back behind bars. You'll remember that 1 escapee was killed last week in a shoot-out with police.
Last week Thursday and Friday, the cops escorted 13 of the recaptured prisoners to court to be arraigned on the offense of escaping from prison. This morning, 2 more were taken to court, and we'll tell you who they are shortly. We start first with comments from Police Commissioner Chester Williams who expressed his frustration that some of the recaptured prisoners have basically been given a slap on the wrist. That's because their prison sentences for pleading guilty to the crime led the presiding magistrates to give them concurrent prison sentences
It's a technical court matter, but the Commissioner wants the escape penalty of 1 year to be added to any sentence that the escapee was serving before the prison break. Instead, the concurrent sentences of several of the prisoners mean that if they are serving any extended sentences for previous offenses, they don't have to serve any additional time connected to the escape penalty.
The commissioner has a problem with that, and in a press conference today in Belmopan, he explained why he has been in discussion with the Director of Public Prosecution to appeal the concurrent sentences which were handed down last week Thursday and Friday. Here are his comments:
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "Our manhunt continued over the weekend and we were able to apprehend two additional of them that is Perez and Paiz. They appeared in court this morning. I am not too certain what the outcome is. I believe that Perez had pled guilty this morning, and was sentenced to 1 year, to run concurrently with any other sentence that he may be serving. Well, I have an issue with the concurrent sentence because, if you're going to allow the sentence to run concurrently, it simply means the prisoner is not being punished for having escaped from prison. And so, the DPP and I have discussed the matter because, we had some last week as well, who were given concurrent sentences. And the DPP has indicated that she is going to appeal the sentence of these persons who were given concurrent sentences. It must be that by law, there is a sentencing guideline in law, which says that concurrent sentences are only used in situations where a person commits more than one offenses at the same time, and they arrive from the same circumstances, then the person is to be sentenced concurrently. Like, for example, you catch a man with a gun, and the gun has ammunition. It is one [set of] circumstances. So, you might sentence for 3 years for the gun, 3 years for the ammunition, but they would run concurrently. Let's say the man shoots at someone with the gun, and he is apprehended later on with the gun, and he's charged for the robbery, and [he is] charged for the gun. That should not be concurrent. It must be consecutive because it's two separate offenses. So, the same principle should apply here. The fact that escaping from prison is not akin to the offense for which they were in prison, it should not carry a concurrent sentence. So, I would want to think that the Magistrate erred, and we're hoping that with the appeal from the DPP, that we'll be able to rectify that issue, that they are sentenced accordingly for having escaped from prison."
Police Still Searching For The Dirty Dozen Escapees
And while Perez's brother tries to find out how best to help in with this latest legal trouble, police are still out looking for the other 12 escapees who are still on the run.
This morning, the police commissioner shared a few details on the parts of the Cayo, Belize, and Stann Creek Districts that the cops believe they are currently hiding out - based on sightings of these prisoners:
Chester Williams - Commissioner of Police "Yes, for sure our immediate area of concentration remains between mile 17 on the George Price Highway to Mile 31 on the same George Price Highway, and then through the Coastal Road. That's our main area of concentration. We still believe that some of these prisoners are within that area. But, we have also received, information on sightings in Isabella Bank. We have received information about sightings in Seine Bight, in Camalote, and also in Belmopan. So, we continue to deploy our search teams to these areas, to see what we can find."
Reporter "We know that someone was captured outside of Belmopan over the weekend."
Chester Williams "Yes, right by the checkpoint by Belmopan."
Reporter "Okay so, was he in a vehicle?"
Chester Williams "No, he was not in a vehicle."
Reporter "He was walking?"
Chester Williams "Yes."
Reporter "He walked up to the checkpoint..."
Chester Williams "Well, the man thought that he could have passed the checkpoint without being observed. I guess he believed that for that moment, he was invisible. But, he was quite visible, and he was caught."
Police Do Not Believe There Was Collusion Between Guards and Escapees
The cops say that they have been closely looking at the circumstances at the Belize Central Prison, which led to last week's Monday's jailbreak. And, at this time, the cops have found no evidence to support any collusion between the escapees and the prison guards.
Here's what the Deputy Head of the National Criminal Investigations Branch had to say:
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero - Deputy Head, NCIB "In regard to the investigation regarding the escapees, several statements have been recorded. Several persons have been interviewed. And so, far, we have found no collusion between any of the prison guards and the escapees."
Reporter "Sir, were the prison guards a part of these interviews?"
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero "Yes, they are part of the interviews."
Reporter "How many prison guards were a part of the interviews?"
Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero "Approximately, about 8."
Police are asking anyone who spots any of the remaining 12 escapees to call 922.
Three more escapees have been recaptured - the most recent less than an
hour ago - and he is a big one.
Santos Lopez - who was on remand for murder - was captured this evening
by police on the Valley of Peace Road.
Santos Edwardo Zepeda Lopez was on remand at Kolbe Foundation for an
ammunition offense. He's also under investigation for the shocking
murder of 59-year-old Rosa Chincilla who was found with a cut wound to
her throat at her residence on Lindo's Alley. He was the alleged
And then this morning, Albert Banner surrendered to the Hattieville
police. He walked into the station and allegedly told the cops he was
hungry. He was taken to court this morning.
And then this afternoon in Hopkins village, police caught Elroy Henry.
He allegedly tried to trick the police and gave them his brother's
name. But police identified him with a tattoo.
Henry will shortly be handed over to the Dangriga Police for processing
and eventual transfer back to the prison.
And in the same general area of South Stann Creek, two more escapees from the Belize Central Prison were caught sometime between 7 and 11 last night.
Placencia and Maya Beach police officers were conducting a stakeout in the Caribbean Way area when they saw two men walking on the road.
Seeing that one of the men resembled escapee, 27-year-old Kendale Flores, the team followed the men for about two miles.
They were able to positively identify Flores, and detained him. The other man was identified as fellow escapee, 25-year-old Luke Bowen. The men told police that they were tired and starving. Seven escapees are still at large following the ten days since the mass breakout from the prison.
Tonight, 7 of the original 28 escapees who fled the Kolbe Foundation on the 12th of October remain on the run. They've managed to evade the cops for over 11 days. But will they be able to run much longer?
Well, that depends on who's helping them and whether or not they have access to the food, water, and shelter they'd need to survive. But while the cops continue the manhunt the public needs to be aware of who's still out there. Today I took another look at the seven still on the run. They're robbers, thugs, and even murderers, and by now they could have traveled the length and breadth of Belize.
Two weeks ago the nation was shocked when it was announced that the Belize Central Prison had experienced the largest mass breakout on record. It came after a minor outbreak of COVId-19 within prison walls and the resulting lockdown.
Since then the cops have managed to locate and arrest most of those who fled the prison.
And yesterday when Kendale Flores, the alleged murderer of 4-year-old Kia Herbert, was finally caught he became the 21st escapee to be recaptured.
Tonight two convicted murderers remain on the loose. They are, Micheal Faux, the man convicted for the cold-blooded murder of Sidney Bradley and Jaroud Lamb, convicted of the murder that resulted from a 2013 robbery of Belmopan's La Choza Bar.
Also still on the run, is Enrique Martinez convicted of manslaughter. Erwin Lanza convicted for a Firearm offense. Eutychus Nunez convicted of a previous escape from unlawful custody. And Elser Oseguera, a convicted robber.
But there's also Carlos Montejo, another convicted robber and the alleged co-mastermind of the breakout. He's now notably one of the last escapees evading capture. And, It may be that he's taken special care not to be re-captured fearing the treatment he could face once back in jail.
Back in 2010 Montejo was one of 4 men charged with Engaging in an illegal fight, a fight that resulted in his friend Efrain Ramirez getting his throat cut.
Jules Vasquez: "What's your expectation and feeling with these 7 that remain at large."
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "Well we are hoping that very soon we will be able to catch up with them. We are also hoping that they are not getting the type of support that they would need. If it is that they don't get the level of support that they would expect, then that will help them to surrender themselves more quickly. We also have our officers out and we continue to receive tips from the public where these escapees are concerned and we are hoping that in the very not too distant future we will be able to have all of them back in prison where they belong."
Jules Vasquez: "Where should people be the most concerned knowing that one was caught on the Valley of Peace road recently and another was caught near Placencia recently?"
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police "The intense nature of our operation for sure is not giving them the opportunity that they would need to even come out or to even get feed. When those 2 were caught in Placencia, the first thing they shouted was that they were hungry and weak, because they were not eating and I am sure that that is the case with the others and so we just need to ensure that we maintain the intensity of our manhunt and I can tell you that it is not easy concerning the fact that we are stretched extremely thin due to Covid-19. In Belize District near the Hattieville area we have, we have teams in the Cayo area, we have teams down south and these are 24 hours operations. So we are hoping that we will get them very soon,"
In a comment provided to us via text, this afternoon prison CEO Virgilio Murillo told us that he doesn't underestimate any of the escapees, and warns the public to consider them all armed and dangerous, and added that Desperate people do desperate things!
Anyone seeing any of the 7 is asked to call 911 or 922.