Over the weekend, police discovered a pair of legs in the Old Belize River near Teakettle village, Cayo District. The Vasquez family believes that the legs may be that of 17-year-old Gerardo Vasquez, who has been missing since September 25. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Joseph Myvett says, however, that they would not be able to determine the identity of the body parts right away.
ACP Joseph Myvett: “Police received a missing persons report in relation to one Gerardo Vasquez, a seventeen year old from Ontario Village who his mother reported last seen on Tuesday the 25th sometime around 11AM. As a result from since Wednesday form when the report was made searches were being conducted on land however late Friday evening information was received just before nightfall that a human leg was seen floating in the river somewhere in the area of Warrie Head which is near Tea Kettle Village. As a result on Saturday search teams were gathered and then started searching the river where shortly after 10AM one human leg that was cut just above the knee was found in the area of Warrie Head. Other searches in the area of Chaya Maya which is further downstream led to the discovery of another leg. Those scenes were processed where the legs were taken to the Western Regional Hospital. I believe the right leg was examined where several small stab wounds were scene on the right leg. At this point in time we will not be able to say whether or not there is any connection however these parts that were found will definitely go through the process, they will require DNA testing in order to see if they can be compared to the missing Gerardo Vasquez.”
Since the news broke of Vasquez’s disappearance, the Executive Director for UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco has taken to social media appealing for answers on this case. In an interview with Love News, Orozco spoke of his suspicions in this case.
Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM: “One of the things that we learned in our forensic analysis of gay man being murdered in Belize is that whoever commits a crime against one of our people they are broken down into thrill seekers, mission defenders and defenders. Now thrill seekers will randomly because they are bored will go out and hit somebody. Mission defenders are crusaders but the worse ones are defenders because they target people like him. Now what makes him vulnerable is that he was young, he was of a certain height, he was of a certain weight along with the fact that he didn’t have, his connection to his immediate family was limited and you do really speak about the harassment or violence he experienced over the few years he was on this earth. We know from our data that we collected that young people between the ages of 14-24 are extremely vulnerable to violence and that they will not report the violence to the police nor the family for fear of losing the access to food, clothing and shelter and hence that is why you will find that they have a higher probability rate of ending up dead than being found.”
Orozco said that he is concerned for the safety of those who belong to his community.