Cervantes Family Wants Closure on the 2014 Murder of Their Patriarch

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Updated: July 6, 2016

The murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior in Orange Walk Town came as a shock to the community, friends and relatives on July 1, 2014.  The incident also brought on an unprecedented political war particularly between Ramon Cervantes Jr and Gaspar Vega.  Today, the Cervantes family issued a press release with the hope that some closure could be gotten through a more efficient handling of the case by the Belize Police Department.  The release begins, quote, “On the 1st of July, 2014, our patriarch, Don Ramon Cervantes was kidnapped from his cane field and was murdered the following day. On the 5th of July, one of the murderers led the police to a shallow grave where my father was buried. When his body was exhumed, we saw that he was blindfolded with duct tape that was wrapped around his head and eyes. He had a deep dent on his forehead. His hands were tied with handcuffs, which were later proven to be police handcuffs. Attached to the handcuffs was a long chain that extended all the way along his left leg, down to his feet. His body was already decomposing.  The post mortem was performed on the spot on a sheet of plywood. After the post mortem, his naked body was wrapped with plastic, doused with kerosene and placed inside the coffin.”  End of quote.  The release goes on to express dismay that after the handcuffs were traced back to a police officer, it wasn’t until two months later that the officer was disciplined and fined two hundred dollars and subsequently suspended with half pay.  Since then, however, the Cervantes family says that the officer has been reinstated at the Belmopan Police Station.  The family has posed nine questions in their release, asking why the officer was reinstated and posted at a different location.  Is there a cover up happening since a senior officer was fingered in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr.?  How is it that the very senior officer was promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police a short while after being named as a ringleader in the gang responsible for the murder?  Interestingly, the release says that the very same officer is now the lead investigator into the Cervantes murder and had declared the case closed the day after several government and political figures were behind the murder plot.  Also, the family is asking why there hasn’t been any collaboration with Mexican authorities to locate Manuel Castillo, a key figure in the case believed to be hiding in Mexico?  And, why has the senior officer not made a statement regarding the accusations of his involvement?  The family says they are left needing closure and the truth so that their family patriarch could rest in peace.