Crime — 14 February 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

Two murders committed in the Independence area in January have been solved by the Independence police under the direction of Assistant Superintendent Alton Alvarez and his team of investigators.

In the first case, the man accused of the chopping death of Rene Arturo Perez, 28, a banana farm supervisor originally from Carrizal Gualan, Guatemala, which occurred on January 3, has been arrested.

Jose Donaldo Sosa Madrid, 23, a Honduran laborer of Trio Village, was arraigned on the charge of murder on Friday at the Independence Magistrate’s Court, and he has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until April 30.

Police reports are that at about 8:30 Friday morning, January 3, they went to the Felix Paz Guevara farm located five miles east of the Trio Junction with the Southern Highway, where they saw the body of Perez with multiple chop wounds on the upper right side of the neck, the lower right side of the neck, the right shoulder blade, the right hand and the left side of the neck.

Police say that at about 8:00 Thursday night, January 2, Perez and Madrid were socializing at Felix Paz’s residence and afterwards, they both departed the house and went to areas unknown,

At about 7:00 the following morning, Friday, Felix Paz was on his way to work when he saw the lifeless body of his worker, Rene Arturo Perez. Paz alerted the police, who searched at Donaldo’s residence for him, but he was not found. The body of Rene Arturo Perez was taken to the Southern Regional Hospital Morgue, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Police said that after the death of Perez, Madrid went on the run, but through collaboration and public participation, they managed to arrest him. They say that incriminating evidence was found on the scene and in Madrid’s house that linked him to Perez’s death.

Two days after Perez was murdered, at about 1:00 Sunday morning, January 5, Maria Domotila Perez, 41, a Honduran of Benque Viejo, was found dead on the road to the Green Gold Banana Farm. She had also been “chopped up” with a machete.

Doctor Hugh Sanchez, who conducted the autopsy on Perez’s body on Tuesday, January 7, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, declared the cause of her death to be exsanguinations due to the severing of the neck structure and multiple chop wounds.

Independence police have arrested and charged Manuel Ernesto Urguia Mencias, 51, a Honduran manager of Green Gold Banana Farm in the Stann Creek District, in connection with the death of Maria Perez.

On Monday, January 6, Mencias was taken to the Independence Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned on the charge of murder and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until May 20, when he will be returned to court.

Police charged that Mencias was the man who chopped up and almost severed the head of his lover, Perez, 41, over money that she allegedly stole from him. The incident occurred at about 10:00 Saturday night, January 4, in the Green Gold Farm area.

Assistant Superintendent Alvarez told Amandala that their investigation revealed that Perez, who lived in Benque Viejo, travelled to the Green Gold Banana Farm, where she met her lover, Mencias, and went to his home. While at the house, Mencias went to the bathroom, and on his return, Perez and his money allegedly had disappeared.

Mencias reportedly went out and found her about 50 feet from his house. Police believe that about 60 seconds before she was killed, Perez had called him on her cell phone to either return the money, or to apologize.

Police said that when Perez had arrived on the Green Gold Banana Farm at about 4:00 in the evening that Saturday, she had been seen walking between Green Gold and Sagitun Farm, by several people in the area and those at a shop in the Green Gold Farm. Sometime around 10:00 Saturday night, those in the vicinity later heard a woman screaming.

They then reported the matter to a businesswoman of the banana farm, who, along with others, went to check the area and found Perez on the ground, apparently dead.

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