The story surrounding a dead Guatemalan national, reportedly murdered, in the Chiquibul National Park keeps evolving as the Guatemalan press is reporting a case of homicide while Belize’s BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones has noted that they are looking at the incident as a case of drowning. Love News was at the Belize City Municipal Airstrip when the body of 18-year-old, Marvin Cristobal Chac Pap was flown in by the BDF and taken to a morgue in the city for an autopsy. All accounts so far have indicated that our local authorities were right as they retrieved the body at around two o’clock this afternoon.
“We were informed yesterday of a body that was probably in the Chiquibul area. Initial reports came in that it was close to Ceibo Chico then we got reports that it was close to Rio Blanco. However this morning after coordination between Foreign Affairs in Belize and Guatemala the Belize Defense Force was asked to try and assist where the body was with the help of some guides from the village of Monte Dos Olivos. So this morning they met at the Rio Blanco conservation post. We had the Guatemalan consulate there, two members from the OAS, a guide and then three members of the village. They took the walk from this morning until this evening. So we had an operation in motion to find where the body was and if the body was found to be in Belizean soil then we were to bring it into Belize to one of our morgues for the post mortem. So we had our helicopter deployed out there this afternoon and they retrieved the body sometime after 2pm this evening and the patrol with the body left the Cieba Chico outpost from about 4:23pm and they just arrived here so the body is being taken to one of the morgues with the pathologists there and we will find out exactly what happened to the body.”
General Jones says that while they are awaiting the autopsy report, preliminary findings show that the Guatemalan teenager did sustain injuries to the head.
“From the patrol members that I spoke to looking to the body there was trauma to the head and that was most likely because the body fell from a cliff. So the body fell from a cliff to the stream at the bottom. The stream is pretty shallow so they won’t be able to determine or say conclusively if it is drowning but based on the trauma to the head from the cliff they believe that the person got the fatal injuries from the fall from the cliff.”
“Also from the reports from your guys was there any kind of confrontation or any incident recently that could be attributed to this ?”
“Well we had a patrol out on Monday night that did see some individuals out in the jungle in the night but they were not pursued so our patrol did not follow them so we had no idea where they went or what happened to them because there was no actual confrontation with these men and that was from the Ceiba Chico area; and then later on we heard that the body was close to Rio Blanco so we had the patrol from Rio Blanco take the walk because none of the patrols had any physical contact with any persons in the area during this time, absolutely none.”
Love News had been receiving conflicting reports on this incident and so were the Belizean and Guatemalan officials.
“We heard the information coming out of the Guatemalan press but we didn’t pay that much attention to it because as far as we were concerned it was only a rumor until it can be proven to be fact. So we decided to find out what the facts are which is why we agreed to have the BDF patrol assist in locating the body, retrieve it, do a post mortem then whatever investigation is done can be done but from preliminary reports what the soldiers have seen is that the body was at the bottom of a cliff from where it fell. Apparently two more persons were injured, one had injured their ankle and the other had broken their clavicle which means three persons had fallen from the cliff but one unfortunately is now deceased.”
General Jones had told Love News early this afternoon that the reports of murder are erroneous as no such thing has occurred nor has the Guatemalan authorities found a body in the area. It turns out he was right and the Guatemalan press has once again erred in their reports. The PrensaLibre published an online story at around five thirty yesterday evening. In that report, they are claiming that the bodies of two Guatemalan men were found in Belize territory near the adjacency zone yesterday. Their report is somewhat twisted as one of the victims they are referring to is the Guatemalan national, Eduardo Caal, who was shot and killed on the Coastal Road over the weekend reportedly by robbers who were looking to escape the area. The other Guatemalan national they speak of is Marvin Cristobal Chac Pap who resided in Monte de losOlivos, Dolores. The online article claims that the Guatemalan authorities were alerted by Guatemalan residents from the area who reside near the adjacency zone. Even more disturbing is that the Guatemalan media was reporting that the body of Chachad been located at around ten o’clock yesterday morning about five hundred metres into Belize’s side. The PrensaLibre went on to note that it has been determined by the authorities in Guatemala that he died due to blows to the head. A conflict mediator, one Salvador Cutzal has reportedly commented to the Guatemalan press that further investigations will have to be made as there are no indications that this incident was carried out by the Belize military.