Headline — 12 March 2016 — by Albert J. Ciego
Abused San Pedro wife stabs husband to death

SAN PEDRO TOWN, Wed. Mar. 9, 2016–  An abusive relationship that has been festering for years between a couple in San Pedrito, San Pedro, came to a deadly end at the couple’s home at about 9:00 last night, Sunday, March 6. Police say that a woman stabbed her husband in the chest and abdomen with a butcher knife.

Rommel Benedicto Catzim, 35, a laborer of San Pedrito, San Pedro, was declared dead on the scene on the verandah of their house.

His wife, Alida Lily Borrayo Barrientos de Catzim, 45, was waiting for police at their house with their son, 5 years old, and when they arrived she handed herself over to them and also gave them the knife with which she had stabbed her husband.

Alida told police that she killed Rommel because she was tired of being beaten by him.

In an interview with Amandala yesterday morning, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, Commander of San Pedro Police, said that the couple was socializing in the yard of the apartment house in San Pedrito when the husband became aggressive and they became involved in an argument. Alida reportedly went upstairs to their flat, leaving Rommel, who was drinking.

Rommel, we were told, went upstairs shortly after and began banging on the door.

ASP Jemmott said that when Alida opened the door she immediately stabbed Rommel in the chest and abdomen with the butcher knife while he was outside, and did not give him the opportunity to get into the house to attack her. Rommel fell onto the verandah, where he bled to death.

Police say that at about 10:30 Sunday night, they found Rommel lying face down in his blood on the veranda on the upper floor of their apartment building, and they saw that he had sustained several stab wounds and also a slice over his eye.

Alida reported that he often beat her, especially when he drank. Since he was drinking and she feared that when he came home he would beat her once again, she came home before him and prepared to defend herself this time.

Neighbors and friends told police that he had beat her many times, and that many days she was seen with bruises on her face and body after she was beaten by him. They had advised her to leave him, but she only left him once, and then they again reconciled.

ASP Jemmott said that this was not the first time the couple has had domestic disputes, and that police have visited their home on many occasions after Alida had been beaten by her husband. He said that Alida apparently had made up her mind to end the abuse and the beatings, and when he banged on the door when he came home, she acted.

Rommel Catzim is Belizean, while Alida Catzim is Guatemalan.

Rommel Catzim’s body is currently in the morgue awaiting a mandatory autopsy to certify the cause of his death.

The couple’s 5-year-old son has been placed in the care of the Department of Social Services, said police.

Superintendent Sandra Bodden, Rural Executive Officer stationed in San Pedro, during a press brief yesterday at the Queen Street Police Station, told the media that police have begun recording a statement from Alida Catzim and other individuals related to the case, after which the file will be sent to the DPP.

In the meanwhile, Alida has been detained, but not yet charged.

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