General — 09 January 2019 — by Albert J. Ciego
Jaime Martinez, 23, murdered; body found floating in the Belize River

BUENA VISTA, Cayo District, Fri. Jan. 4, 2019– The body of well-known Buena Vista resident Jaime Martinez, 23, was found floating in the Belize River in the initial stage of decomposition at about 9:00 New Year’s Day morning in Black Man Eddy, Cayo, by two men practicing in a canoe for the upcoming La Ruta Maya boat race to be held in March.

The two men said that they saw what they believed was a trash bag floating in the river, but when they went to pick it up, to clean the river, they saw that it was a man floating in the water. They immediately went ashore and called police.

The body of the man, identified as Jaime Martinez, was recovered, and it was observed that his hands were tied behind his back and he had been shot in the side of the head.

Villagers of Buena Vista were shocked when they received the news that Martinez had been killed. A friend of his, Samuel Melendez, told the media that he and Martinez were together on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Martinez, who sometimes worked as a handyman for many residents of the village, was at Melendez’s house in the village, celebrating the birthday of Melendez’s daughter with Melendez’s family, and afterwards, Martinez told him that he was going home, Melendez said. He did not see Martinez until that Saturday, December 29, at a wedding in the village, during which Martinez told him that he would be looking for a job in the village to get money to go to Orange Walk Town, and he left.

The village pastor, Juan Bautista, said that he knew Martinez well, and saw him that Sunday morning, December 30, in the village, and that was the last time he was seen.

The pastor and Melendez said that Martinez was friendly and had no enemies, and so, are at a loss for a reason as to why he was killed.

Melendez said that when Martinez drank and became drunk, he would sing and play the guitar, and then go to sleep.

Martinez has since been buried.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that so far, no one has been arrested for the murder.£

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