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Belize City businessman murdered

Belize City jeweler, Manuel Pacheco, is in police custody for the late Thursday evening murder of businessman Jose Villanueva. Villanueva was fatally shot yesterday evening at his workplace on Collet Canal. Police believe that the shooter is Pacheco, who owns a jewelry store located next to Villanueva’s workplace. Hipolito Novelo found out more from Villanueva’s common law wife.

Late yesterday evening shots rang out on Collet Canal in Belize City. Fifty year old Jose Villanueva a Belize City business man lay dead in his yard.

He had been shot several times.

The alleged shooter is Manuel Pacheco who owns Pacheco’s and Sons Jewelry- located beside Villanueva’s home.

Villanueva’s common law wife with who he shares a child and lived with for 19 years, Carmencita Mendez, says that both men were constantly involved in verbal disputes.  

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “You know we have been having problems with Mr.Pacheco from since he opened, he had opened a small tire shop there in 2012 and from the beginning there was problem- everything he complained he’d go to the City Council. If he brought a vehicle, he usually traveled to the states to bring a vehicle, if he brings a vehicle he called the City Council and he has to move that was everyday but nowadays he used to travel frequently. So he came back on the first of June and he was preparing everything because he was going back on Monday but.”

But now Mendez has to prepare his funeral. She says that Villanueva and Pacheco recently argued over a dog.

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “Incidentally I had a dog that I took to the yard and it looked like the dog made too much noise and that got to Mr.Pacheco and that triggered him, the two of them had an argument and he pulled out a gun and shot Mr.Villanueva four times.

Witnesses say that Pacheco allegedly fired the gun from inside his yard, behind the cement fence that separated the feuding duo.

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “People that went there said that they threatened them and he pulled out machete after Jose but he Jose was behind the fence and he still killed him behind the fence because he killed him in his yard.”
Reporter: The cameras caught everything ? I see two cameras there.

Roberto Slusher, Friend: “The cameras caught but it didn’t catch everything because of the angles as you can see. The one right there might have caught the shells because they said that the shells from his weapon were down there on this side so definitely he raised up to shoot him.”

Reporter: Because he was over the fence.

Roberto Slusher, Friend: “Exactly that is the reason why. If you look at the hand and the height of this fence and a person standing over there he had to stand on something to get him on this side that is why the shells were on this side.”

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “The police have the right truth because if Mr.Villanueva, my gentleman, pulled a gun where he got shot he got shot exiting the place his gun would be right there. He ran, I don’t know if he ran or what happened but he ran to where the opening of the business was and he ran there and succumbed there and his gun was beside him with the holster inside so he didn’t use his gun.”

Investigators returned to the scene, combing the area for additional evidence.

The dispute between both men begun years ago.

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “You know Mr.Pacheco used to threaten a couple of times when I had a business. I told him (Mr.Villanueva) to report it but he said that he would not hurt him and he never reported but I reported and all his friends know because he always complained to his friends that he always had problems with Mr.Pacheco but I don’t know it’s in God’s hands and I believe in God and God knows why it happened and I guess what can we do? He called him all kinds of names, him and his common law all kinds of arguments I can’t tell you too much because I was never present.”

But Robert Slusher knows. He is Villanueva’s close personal friend.

Roberto Slusher, Friend: “But there was some kind of property problems, very unkind words being said so yes there was a conflict between both of them.”

Reporter: They used to argue verbally almost everyday ?

Roberto Slusher, Friend: “It was sporadic, not everyday kind of thing. But I know it happens.”

And now Mendez wants police to charge Pacheco with murder immediately.

Carmencita Mendez, Common Law Wife: “I hope and pray that he should be charged because it was not self defense, not at all because I saw the gun and the gun was in the holster right there. I saw it.”

Reporting for Love News, I am Hipolito Novelo.

Villanueva was a former police officer. He travels to the US constantly for business.