His Excellency, Oscar Ayuso, Jr., Belize’s ambassador to the Vatican and the Honorary Consul of Sweden to Belize, died last Friday evening at his home in the Bella Vista area of Belize City.
Ayuso was a businessman. He was first appointed to the Senate in February 1999. Prior to the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) rise to power in the February 7, 2008, General Elections, he was the First Deputy Leader of the UDP, from 1999 to 2006.
Ayuso, who was appointed ambassador to the Vatican shortly after the UDP’s general elections victory, also served on various statutory boards. He was the vice chairman of the Belize Social Security Board and the chairman of the Port Authority; he has also served as vice president of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
As a businessman, he was the managing director of G. Ayuso and Sons Limited and G. Ayuso and Sons Travel Agency.
According to a report from the police, around 7:30 on Friday night, July 24, they visited Ambassador Ayuso’s home at #81 Bella Vista, where his lifeless body was seen seated on a chair in his den. Ayuso had an apparent gunshot wound to his left temple.
His wife, Halima Ayuso, told police that she had prepared supper for her husband, but when she went to him, she discovered him motionless.
Police reported that they recovered a .380 Berretta automatic pistol with a magazine, which contained 8 live .380 rounds. There was one expended .380 shell.
Ayuso’s body was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where a post-mortem was scheduled to be performed on his body at 12:30 this afternoon. Police say that they do not suspect foul play but are continuing their investigation.
Amandala has learned, from a reliable source, that Ayuso had gone to a birthday party for his mother and had returned to his home in the early evening. He then went into his den, after asking his wife to warm up some food for him. His children were at home playing music. When she went to take the food to him, she discovered him with the gunshot wound to his head.
Ayuso, our source said, had serious financial problems and we were told that one of the banks operating in Belize was scheduled to foreclose on his home this week. All of our efforts to speak to family members were futile.
The ruling United Democratic Party this afternoon issued a press release, in which the Party Leader, Hon. Dean Barrow, extended condolences to his family. The release said that the nation of Belize has suffered a great loss with the passing of His Excellency, Oscar Ayuso, Jr., who has served Belize with distinction as a Senator.
The Opposition People’s United Party also issued a press release today on the passing of Ambassador Ayuso. The release said that the PUP joins the nation in mourning.
Ambassador Ayuso is survived by his wife, Mrs. Halima Ayuso, and his two children, Oscar, Jr., and Yasmin.
Government officials have confirmed to Amandala that an official funeral will be held for Ambassador Ayuso this Wednesday, July 29, 2009. His body will be received at the Divine Mercy Church at 2:00 p.m. for funeral services at 3:00 p.m., following which he will be interred at the Lord’s Ridge Cemetery.