General — 11 May 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
Three inmates escape from prison; two recaptured

HATTIEVILLE, Belize District, Wed. May 8, 2019– Three inmates of the Belize Central Prison in Hattieville made a run for freedom at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon, but the escape was brief for two of them.

Virgilio Murillo, the Chief Executive Officer of the Belize Central Prison, told us that the three prisoners who made a dash for freedom from behind the prison’s walls are Wilser Echeverria, 25, of Belmopan, who is on remand awaiting trial for murder; Rafael Mencias, 25, of Corozal Town, who is serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter, for the death of Philip Hall of Corozal; and Christian Neal, 25, of Toledo, who was in prison for two counts of robbery and one count of carnal knowledge.

Prison guards quickly lit the bushes behind the prison compound, into which the three inmates ran, and this apparently slowed Echevarria and Mencias, who were recaptured by the guards.

They were taken into custody and charged for escape. They await arraignment at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court.

Murillo said he is grateful that Mencias and Echeverria have been recaptured, because they are considered very dangerous and could have been a problem for the society. Murillo said the hunt is on for Neal, who is not considered dangerous. They believe that he is hiding in the bushes in the area of the prison.

When we talked to Murillo today, he told us that the three prisoners were working in the industrial zone in the prison, packing concrete blocks made by the prisoners, when they saw an opportunity and took off into the bushes.

ASP Alejandro Cowo, Commander of Crimes Investigations, said that police are assisting the prison guards in an intense manhunt to recapture Neal.

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