Fugitive surrenders in San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 15, No. 24            June 16, 2005

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Last Friday, a murder in broad daylight drew public outrage in Belize City. On Tuesday, Edward Barahona, believed to have valuable information to assist in the investigation and wanted by police officers, turned himself in to police custody. The story broke last Friday and on Monday, Channel 7 News held an interview with Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) Commander Assistant Superintendent of Police Chester William, who told News Director Jules Vasquez that Edward Barahona was the only person wanted in connection to the murder at the time since he could have valuable information.

    Channel 7 spoke to sources who stated that Barahona was in San Pedro Town and wanted to turn himself in. He, however, wanted to do so in the presence of both a media representative and a Justice of the Peace. Channel 7 called The San Pedro Sun, who along with Mayor Elsa Paz, Justice of the Peace, accompanied Barahona to the San Pedro Police Department. Barahona was detained, and as of press time, was to be transported to Belize City on Wednesday morning. “I am turning myself in because of my family. I am thinking of them,” he commented to The Sun.

    On Friday, June 10th, 25-year-old David Vasquez was shot at around 1:25 p.m., in the busy Cemetery Road, half a mile from the Belize City’s commercial center. According to witnesses, Vasquez was chased by an individual who followed him into Olympic Restaurant. Vasquez ran out through the restaurant’s back door and up a flight of stairs, where on the veranda, he was shot three times – twice to the chest and once to the neck. The shooter, who at the time of the incident was unmasked, got back on his bicycle and rode off.

    Belize City police officers strongly believe that Vasquez’s murder is connected to another shooting which occurred on Thursday, June 9th. 23-year-old Alvin Cumberbatch told police that around 8:50 p.m. he and other men were standing in front of the same restaurant, when four shots were heard. Cumberbatch realized that he had been hit as he ran through the alley. He was treated at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for a gunshot to the right foot just below the knee.

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