General — 01 November 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Body of Succotz farmer recovered from Mopan River

The raging flood waters and strong eddies of the Mopan River along with continuous rains, did not shake the resolve of the family and friends of Carlos Rito Valdez, 65, a farmer of Succotz, Cayo District, to find him.

Valdez drowned in the Mopan River at about 10:00 Monday morning when he was crossing the strong-flowing, flooded river in a canoe that overturned. He went under and did not resurface.

Police said that he was found at about 10:00 last night in the area of the Succotz ferry by the search party. A member of the party was by the ferry when he saw a figure come to the surface of the water; when they directed a spotlight at the figure, they realized it was Valdes’ body.

The body was quickly recovered and taken to an area where a post-mortem could be conducted to certify the cause of death. Valdez was buried at about 3:30 this afternoon in the Succotz cemetery, where villagers, friends and family gathered in mourning.

About 10:00 Monday morning, Valdez and a friend of his were transporting plantains across the river from Valdez’s farm, when the canoe overturned and Valdez was washed away by the river currents.

The Coast Guard was called to the area on Monday to begin the search, but the raging river and rainy condition throttled their effort, as well as the efforts of the Cayo Search and Recovery Team.

Reports are that Valdez and his siblings, as well as their friends, frequently went across the Mopan River, since childhood, to their family farm on the opposite bank.

Carlos Rito Valdez was the father of 5 children.

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