ORANGE WALK—Amidst a small gathering on the streetside, three men who were accused of the sensational kidnapping and murder of prominent Orange Walk businessman and cane farmer, Ramon Cervantes Sr., 71, were escorted back to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court at around 9:00 this morning, along with 8 other prisoners who were brought for trial.
On July 9 of this year, Guatemalan national Noe Daniel Gonzalez, 22; Mateo Pott, Jr., 28, of Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District; and Angel Antonio Cardenas, 19, also of Trial Farm, were formally arraigned for Cervantes’ brutal death after his partially decomposed corpse was located in a shallow grave on a farm off the Honey Camp road on July 5, four days after he was reported missing.
Since the discovery of Cervantes’ body, his son, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., PUP standard bearer for the Orange Walk North division, has been voicing the family’s displeasure at the way the case is being handled by the police, and today, he told the media that the family has basically been left in the dark about the progress of the investigations into the murder of his father.
Cervantes said, “I haven’t received any official report as to the progress of the investigation, so frankly I do not know how far they have gotten with the investigation. It’s hard because my father was taken away from us violently, before his time, [but] we have to keep on moving; we have to keep on working, seeing that employees get paid, that customers get served. We have to keep on living a normal life. It’s hard, but a lot of people are supporting us in many ways and that’s what keeps us up [and] gives us the strength to go on every day. This is not just for justice [only] for us, but for everyone else. We see it happening in Belize City and all over.”
Gonzalez, Pott and Cardenas, two of whom, police say, led them to the site of Cervantes, Sr.’s grave, were additionally charged for his kidnapping on July 10.
The accused men had also directed police to the body of Sonia Maribel Abac, 46, whose decomposed remains were unearthed on July 9 from a 16-foot-deep well situated about 200 feet from where Cervantes, Sr.’s body was callously dumped.
Although there are some peculiar similarities between the deaths of both individuals, the only connection that investigators have apparently made so far is that Abac was allegedly slain at the behest of Manuel Castillo, 37, also known as “El Pelon”, who has also been accused by police of being the ringleader of the crew that abducted Cervantes, Sr.
Up to this point, however, police are yet to charge anyone for Abac’s murder, while more questions than answers linger in the Cervantes, Sr. murder case.
The victims’ families are understandably aggrieved and frustrated at the same time, and today, they stood together outside the courtroom in a small group, along with other supporters, all demanding justice for the senseless murders which have stunned the close-knit community of Orange Walk.
Members of Abac’s family who traveled to Orange Walk from Guatemala City were among the crowd, and her brother, Pablo Misael Abac, pleaded with authorities to punish those who were responsible for her untimely death.
He said, “We came to Belize from Guatemala seeking justice so that the murder of my sister does not go unresolved. My sister was a good person; she liked Belize. She used to come here to work and not do harm [to anyone]. Through this medium, we