Headline — 24 March 2018 — by Albert J. Ciego
Villagers say hundreds of pounds of cocaine from drug plane were dumped in the Rio Hondo

TRES LEGUAS, Orange Walk District, Thurs. Mar. 15, 2018– Belizean media have reported on a story that appeared in a Mexican newspaper, Diario de Quintana Roo, which claims that villagers who live near the Rio Hondo, on the Mexican side, saw massive dumping of parcels from a plane that was in the area about the time a plane went down nearby in Belize.

 The villagers, after seeing pictures of the downed plane in Orange Walk in the Belizean media, noted that the plane that flew low over the Rio Hondo and dumped cargo, is similar to the one that ended up on the ground in Belize.

In his story in the Amandala about the discovery of the plane in Orange Walk on March 15, Micah Goodin reported that according to police, no cargo was found onboard the plane. There was a lot of suspicion surrounding the downed plane, which reportedly was discovered by a joint patrol of police officers and soldiers of the Belize Defence Force.

Goodin’s report further stated, “ACP Myvette said that in the pilot area of the two-seater aircraft, the law officers found traces of a substance which they believe is blood. Myvett explained that traces of a substance which they believe is blood was also found inside a white Ford pickup truck bearing Mexican license plates, which was discovered in the river on the Mexican side of the border, near to where the plane went down.”

ACP Myvette revealed that a portion of the aircraft appeared damaged. Myvette said there was evidence that the plane’s crew had tried to set it ablaze, as had been done with previous aircraft. They were not successful, however.

In previous instances, when planes were found on makeshift airstrips no one was detained for questioning. Myvette said that in this case a Belizean national who was seen leaving the area in a vehicle has since been detained for questioning.

However, as we go to press tonight, that person has not faced any criminal charges.

We have an idea now about what cargo this plane, with its disappearing crew, was carrying, thanks to the villagers on the Mexican side of the border, who told their story to Diario de Quintana Roo, and alerted Belizean media, which picked up and reported the story to the Belizean people. 7News has stated that the Mexican newspaper estimates the plane was carrying 3,500 pounds of cocaine.

According to 7News, the Mexican newspaper “says that the King Air 200 that crash-landed in the Blue Creek area one week ago made a huge wet drop in the Rio Hondo. This confirms what experts told [us] after seeing the black bags, ropes and markers attached to it inside the plane.”

The Diario de Quintana Roo reports that 6 boats manned by Belizean crews lifted more than three thousand pounds of illicit drug cargo out of the Rio Hondo near the Mexican village of Ramonal.

Villagers told the newspaper that they saw and heard the plane circle three times over the Hondo — flying an estimated 150 feet above the water’s surface. They also saw silver and brown packages tumbling out of the plane.

“They say the 6 boats with about 20 armed men scooping up the drugs came out of a channel that connects Patchakan in Corozal to Ramonal in Mexico. They claim crews picked up more than 100 presumed drug parcels in 10 minutes.

“Now, this is the same area of Estero on the Belize side which we’ve reported on many times as a contraband and illicit drugs hotspot…,” stated 7News.

“…The boat crews took the drug parcels back into Belize, through the Patchakan channel,” the report further stated.

News5, referring to information taken from the same Mexican newspaper, said that the people of Ramonal “have given extensive details of what they claim they saw. According to the reports, the plane was flying very low as it discharged the parcels of drugs in a water channel that connects Mexico to the village of Patchakan, Corozal District. The villagers also say that within minutes, the more than a hundred packages were loaded into boats. There are also reports that some of the men working in the operation were armed.”

Amandala asked Commander of Crimes Investigation, ASP Alejandro Cowo, at the police press brief held this morning at Raccoon Street, for comment on the stunning reports coming out of Mexico. He said that he heard the report, but he cannot confirm, because on their (the police’s) arrival on the scene they found no drugs in the vicinity, and the plane was empty.

He said there were only two seats in the plane and attempts to burn it (the plane) were evident.

Cowo said that he was at the scene where the plane was found, and not far from it was a little creek that was too shallow to allow the passage of boats.

Cowo said that the Mexicans sent him the report, but he is not “seeing it” on the ground.

Amandala cannot verify if the creek Cowo saw is the same body of water that was spoken about in the Diario de Quintana Roo story.

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