General — 12 March 2016 — by Johnelle McKenzie
Jair Guerra, 35, arraigned for chopping wife  to death

BELMOPAN, Cayo District, Mon. Mar. 8, 2016–Today, Jair Jeremias Guerra was arraigned in the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court for the murder of Maria Candelaria Raymundo, mother of seven children, ages 13 to 28, which occurred in the early morning of Friday, March 4.

Guerra, 35, and Raymundo, 45, had no children together and lived with another couple and their two children in the same house. Her youngest child is 13, and the two youngest live with their father. The other children live elsewhere.

Belmopan police said that in response to a call of a domestic dispute at approximately 5:52 a.m. on Friday, March 4, they visited the premises of 10 Panama Street, Salvapan, Belmopan, there police saw Raymundo “lying face down, her face was bloody and she was suffering from chop wounds on the left side of her neck and on the right side of her face.”

Reveca Ventura, 37, who lives in the same house as the victim, told Amandala that on Friday morning at approximately 5:15 a.m., her common-law husband, Carlos Milian, 35, left to go to work. Shortly thereafter she heard Guerra, Raymundo’s common-law husband, beating her in their bedroom.

Ventura said that she knocked on the door, telling Guerra to leave Raymundo alone. However, she said, he continued beating Raymundo. Ventura said that she then called the police, who arrived on the scene 45 minutes afterwards.

Meanwhile, Ventura’s daughter ran down the street to inform one of Raymundo’s daughters, who lives nearby about what was happening, and she then called her other siblings.

Jeovanni Raymundo, 19, one of the victim’s sons, rushed to the home to see his mother, but police were already there and they refused to let him see her. Jeovanni told Amandala that he had pleaded with police to take his mother to the hospital, because she was still alive at the time. Police refused, Jeovanni said; they told him that an ambulance was on its way to take her to the hospital. Raymundo was taken to the Western Regional Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 a.m.

Aura Raymundo, 26, the eldest daughter, told Amandala that her mother was trapped in an abusive relationship for five years. She said that on several different occasions her mother would try to get away from Guerra by coming to her house, but he would always come looking for her.

Raymundo did not report the abuse to the police, since he had threatened to kill her if she did, Aura said, adding that her mother would even hide the abuse from her children by lying about the injuries he inflicted on her.

Aura said that Guerra did not always work, so her mother made a living by selling plantain chips. There came a point, however, when she could not go and sell her chips, since Guerra’s jealousy caused him to follow her. Therefore, her son had to begin selling for her.

The brutal killing of Maria Raymundo has left her children with wounded hearts and in shock, and they said that they want to see justice done.

Meanwhile, in the Magistrate’s Court, Guerra told the magistrate, “I was not in my five senses, and I was lost.”

The magistrate decided to order a psychological evaluation for Guerra, and his case was adjourned to May 30 for disclosure.

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