Marine Biologist Murdered in Harmonyville
The second person that was murdered over the weekend was 38-year-old marine biologist Celso Cawich. Cawich was shot several times on Saturday night while at his business establishment in Harmonyville Village, Cayo District. Police say that Cawich was inside the establishment while two other men were on the verandah. They were approached by two other men- one who was armed with a 9mm pistol. That person released a barrage of bullets. Cawich tried to escape by jumping out the window but his killer followed him and shot him nine times. The men escaped and Cawich was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital (W.R.H.) where he later died.
ASP. Fitzroy Yearwood, Public Relations, Belize Police Department: “The initial information received by police was that two men brandishing firearms walked into his business place where one of these men pointed a firearm at the deceased and fired several shots towards him. We know that police have since detained two suspects and investigators also informed me that they are looking for three more peresons believed to be involved in this murder. We will be issuing out posters if need be but I am allowing the investigators to check on some leads before doing so. It would want to look like the initial intent was robbery and from what witnesses have described they’re saying that when Mr.Cawich made a movement as to go towards his waist for some reason that was when the gunmen opened fire on him. So at first they made request and like I said he walked backwards or stepped a little back and then these gunmen opened fire on him. After them shooting Mr.Cawich they made good their escape, they ran outside and they had persons waiting for them out there. We have recorded several statements that would not indicate that a robbery took place thereafter.”
Antonio Cawich says his brother’s murder was as a result of a report he made about another crime in the village.
Antonio Cawich, Brother of the deceased: “He was a peace maker. He never got in trouble with anyone. He was a marine biologist, he lost his job by the pandemic and since then he started his little business here a small shop as you can see and he was hustling doing his small sales and so on and I don’t know what really occurred. I wasn’t here but.”
Fem Cruz, Reporter: But you being around your brother a lot tell us his contribution to this village and not only this village but to the country on a whole.
Antonio Cawich, Brother of the deceased: “He was always trying to help all the poor people here. He gave them credit, they came here and credit with him, he helped them out they came back they paid him and that was what he was surviving on from since the pandemic. He was not a troublemaker, he did not go out on the streets, come out or anything. He was always in his little business.”
Fem Cruz, Reporter: Tell us what you know about last night when you heard the news about your brother.
Antonio Cawich, Brother of the deceased: “Well I heard it was a retaliation. There was somebody that was robbing the neighbor here and when he went to assist the neighbor he knew the guy, the guy comes here and buys from him. He knew the guy and he went and reported the guy but it looks like the police didn’t do anything and they came back for him so I don’t really know what they wanted with him but they got what they wanted because they came and killed him for no reason at all.”
Cawich leaves behind his wife, two children, and four brothers.