General — 10 August 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
Derrick Ramirez, 24, on fishing trip, disappears

Ramirez went missing on Sunday, August 4, after fleeing in mangroves after being shot at on Cross Caye

CROSS CAYE, Stann Creek District, Thurs.  Aug. 8, 2019– Two brothers, Derrick Ramirez, 24, and Kevin Hernandez, 27, and their brother-in-law, Joseph Coleman, 27 — all of whom reside in Dangriga— went fishing and diving for lobsters at Cross Caye in the Stann Creek District on Sunday, and sometime around midday, while they were diving, a boat with three men appeared and the captain ordered them to stop diving in the area and told them that the area belongs to him.

Kevin Hernandez reported that he recognized the captain of the boat.

Ramirez and his two companions, who were about half a mile away from Cross Caye, where their camp was located, then made their way back to shore, to their camp.

While the three were gathering their belongings to leave the area, the boat with the men arrived at the island. The captain stayed onboard, but two of the men on the boat got out with firearms and approached and fired at Ramirez.

Ramirez’s companions said that he ran into some mangroves to escape from the two men. Hernandez told police that he heard shots fired and saw the men come out of the area, get back in their boat, and leave.

After the men left, Ramirez came out of the mangroves unhurt, and they continued packing their belongings.

Shortly after, the armed men returned, and when they saw Ramirez, they fired at him again. At this point, Ramirez ran into the mangroves again, and the men sprinted after him. Hernandez said that he heard many shots fired, and then he saw the two men come out of the mangroves and get back into their boat. The captain then left with the men in the boat.

After the shooters departed, Hernandez and Coleman then went to look for Ramirez in the mangroves, but an extensive search for him was in vain. They then went to the police in Dangriga and made a report.

Police said that they got the report yesterday, which is almost three days after the event.

Yesterday, police reported that they and the Coast Guard had been to the caye to search for Ramirez, but they didn’t find him. Police said they were going out again today to search for Ramirez.

Police say that at this time they are treating the case as a search for a missing person, not a murder. Police say they have one man in custody, but they don’t know the motive for the attempt on Ramirez’s life.

Ramirez is originally from Dangriga but had lived in Belize City for the majority of his life, said police. Police said that he is known to them. They said that he returned to Dangriga to dodge police operations and anti-crime activities in the city.

Ramirez is the father of a very young child.

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