Placencia is known to have one of the narrowest streets on the planet, but it turns out it also has two property owners that have a very short fuse. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Joseph Myvett says Francis Eiley was shot over a land dispute on Monday night.
Chester Williams – Commissioner of Police: “Placencia police responded to a shooting incident on the main street where upon arrival they met one Francis Eily 43 years of a Placencia address walking towards the polyclinic with apparent gunshot injuries. He was assisted by police to the clinic where he was attended to and observed to have a gunshot injury to his leg. What he reported to the police was that he was at home earlier when he had a confrontation with a neighbor one Terrence Lopez where Lopez advanced towards him, pulled out his 9mm pistol and pointed it to his head. A struggle ensued between both parties which caused the firearm to discharge hitting Eiley. Eiley is at the Southern Regional Hospital where he is in a stable condition while Lopez is in police custody and his firearm was retrieved. Also what we know or what was told to the police is that this was seemingly a land issue between the two.”
Regionally renowned criminal Joseph Budna is back in the headlines tonight. Budna is one of those rare criminals that has been arrested for just every sort crime that would be colorful enough for a Netflix miniseries. Budna is wanted in the US for Conspiracy to Commit Hostage Taking, and Using and Carrying a Firearm during and in Relation to a Crime of Violence. That’s just North America. In Central America he was described as the leader of a ring of criminals specializing in international kidnappings in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. And though Budna has repeatedly expressed his innocence, he has also repeatedly escaped from Guatemalan authorities. His most recent stint was not through a tunnel like Mexico’s Chapo Guzman, but from a hospital. There’s a belief that Budna is trying to return home to Belize. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams indicated that the police is on alert for one of Central America’s most wanted and we get the impression he might be willing to send him back, with the right paperwork.
Chester Williams – Commissioner of Police: “We were alerted yesterday by Foreign Affairs that he had escaped from some hospital in Guatemala or somewhere in Guatemala and is currently being sought by Guatemalan authority so yes we have made it known in Belize with a view to apprehending Joseph Budna. Once he is apprehended then we will go through the necessary protocols through Foreign Affairs to see where it goes from there.”
Reporter: “Do we have extradition protocols with Guatemala?”
Chester Williams – Commissioner of Police: “We don’t but there is no Extradition Treaty but by way of the protocol we can make arrangements.”
Reporter: “Is there any information from the counterparts on the other side that he is indeed trying to head to Belize?”
Chester Williams – Commissioner of Police: “He is a Belizean and so we will anticipate that he is trying to make his way back home with a view to elude the justice system in Guatemala. I will say that Guatemala for the most part, especially our counterparts in Melcher have been very helpful to us in Belize whenever we have Guatemalans who are wanted here in Belize. They have exercised that diplomatic channel with a view to assist us in getting those persons to Belize and so I think that as a matter of reciprocity that if he is apprehended it is a matter for the Ministry Foreign Affairs and the Government as to how we will move from there.”
Unconfirmed reports are that a body was found along Routa 155 in Michoacán, Mexico that some reports indicate is Budna. As we said it’s unconfirmed and a long way off in Mexico. We’ll have more on Budna’s saga in future news reports.
The Government’s strategy to end gang crimes has been complex and involves education, employment and different forms of therapies even for mothers of slain youths. But the police dropped a mini bombshell on us today and said though that they believe positive gains have been made to reach at-risk youths, they have uncovered a new set of criminals who have dubbed themselves the South Side Killers or SSK.
Edward Broaster – Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Crime: “We have identified a new group called the New South Side Killers. Through the intelligence mechanism that we have had, we have identified those individuals and we have put strategies in place to mitigate that.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “South Side Killers, is that a rebranding of old criminals and new? Can you explain?”
Edward Broaster – Deputy Commissioner of Operations and Crime: “No it is not a rebranding of old criminals, those are young person’s seemingly believing that they are invincible and that they can do as they please. It will not be outside of our strategy, as I had mentioned in the investigation into the different gang elements/ gang groups that we are conducting and the subsequent guilty plea of those individuals that have been arrested. They only change their opinion because of the evidence that was before them based on the disclosure that they obtained so rest assured but we have our investigators and our intelligence out there dealing with the situation so that we will be able to prosecute those who are hellbent in committing a crime.”
The police did not want to say how long this gang has been existence or where it is specifically located.