Murder or natural causes? That is what the police is hoping a postmortem examination will determine concerning the death of 48 year old Rufino Rhodas Pedro. On April 1, the body of BDF volunteer Hermelindo Ical was found at 6:30 am in Armenia Village and almost one month later, on April 29, the body of Rhodas Pedro was discovered near his home. Love News travelled to Armenia and searched for clues.
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “Rufino Rhodas Pedro was a Guatemalan National who came to Belize to work in the Sugar industry. His body was found across the street from the room he rented from Ruth Leon in Armenia Village.”
Ruth Leon – Landlord of Runfuino Rhodas Pedro: “He came from Guatemala with his friend and he was renting one of our rooms and whenever he socializes, all he does is talk about his family, about Guatemala but never spoke about having enemies or somebody who is fighting with him or anything like that so he used to work at Santander in the cane field. He was working there for three months until now.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “Belmopan police were on the scene from 6:45 AM this morning.”
Joseph Myvett – Deputy Commissioner of Police: “ Belmopan police were called to Armenia Village where they discovered the apparent lifeless body of a Hispanic male in an open lot. He was later identified as Rufino Rodas Pedro 47 years Guatemalan and an employee of Santander. Our investigation has shown that he was a roommate of another Santander employee who last saw him alive yesterday morning before going to work. So far the police have not observed any visible injuries, the body was removed after the scene was processed and we are still doing our investigation into this matter.”
Ruth Leon – Landlord of Runfuino Rhodas Pedro: “I am a nurse so this morning my neighbors knocked on my door and I ran to see if he still had a pulse but when I reached he was dead already but his neck looked as if though he had a purple bruise so for me it looks like someone hit his neck or head. I don’t think he died because he was drinking a lot because it could be like that too but for me but for me it looked like violence.”
Jose Sanchez – Reporter: “The deceased had been at a bar that another villager Ermalindo Ical had visited prior to being killed. His landlord Ruth is concerned about the safety of her once peaceful village.”
Ruth Leon – Landlord of Runfuino Rhodas Pedro: ‘Armenia for me is my village, it is a beautiful village, I have been living here for seven years now and for me before it was a nice village but now it is getting dangerous because one month ago do you remember the soldier who was killed there? And now the next one so now I feel so sad for my village.”
Joseph Myvett – Deputy Commissioner of Police: “ The police have carried out several operations in that area and that bar is visited regularly during those police patrols.”
Jose Sanchez: “The post mortem examination will determine if the death will be recorded as foul play. Jose Sanchez for Love News.”
Rhodas lived alone.