The Belize Police Department issued an official release on the incident. The release says that Sotz was detained by Caye Caulker Police yesterday morning at around 11:50 pending investigation into a series of burglaries. He was in police custody for five hours because according to the release quote, “Sometime around 5:00 pm, while being interviewed, he reportedly started complaining of chest pain and difficulty breathing. He was rushed to the poly clinic for medical treatment where he passed away”, end of quote. That’s the police version of the events- chest pain and difficulty breathing. But what caused those chest pains and his difficulty breathing that ultimately caused his death? As you heard from the villagers, police officers allegedly beat him to death. However, the police department, through the same release believes that Sotz subsequently died unexpectedly. From all accounts, that story isn’t sticking and Sotz parents believe otherwise. The parents are having a hard time coping with the death of their first born child. The couple, Saturino and Carmelina Sotz arrived on the mainland last night and are awaiting the post mortem examination for their son. Love News caught up with them earlier today. According to the parents, Hilberto was picked up as a suspect for a burglary that happened in the village on Sunday night …. The crucial part in this entire ordeal is that Hilberto was reportedly not even on the island when the burglary occurred. Hilberto arrived back on Caye Caulker on Monday morning and was picked up at the pier by his father.
“When I met him near Friendship, he told me that he came back; then he jumped in the golf cart with me because I was running taxi at the time. So as I jumped into my taxi, I saw Nunez, the police, come and tell me to stop and that my son was under arrest pending an investigation. I asked him why my son was under investigation when my son was not here. He said not to worry and took my son by the pants and dragged him like a dog. As he dragged my son I told him, ‘Officer, my son is not guilty of anything; just take care of my son and don’t let anything happen to him’. I talked to them and he said yes. So about two hours after that a young man came and told me that my son wanted to see me at the station. So I went to see my son but the W, Miss Ramos … when my son heard that I got there he started knocking on the door. Miss Ramos told me that I can’t come see my son. So then she told me to get out of the station. I told her ma’am I have the right to see my son, I want to see what is happening because someone told me that my son wanted to see me. She said that I couldn’t see him any at all. I told her alright and then I came out.”
Once the police detained Hilberto, the family says despite his request to see his father, he never did get that opportunity and shortly thereafter, he died in the custody of the police officers at Caye Caulker. They are still in disbelief particularly because of the cause of death that police are saying.
“The first news I got was when he was dead already. They got here and told me about five minutes after six when they told me. Nunez came to tell me and said, “Can we talk to you Miss?” Nunez and the other one in the stripes. Then they took me downstairs, I thought it was my husband got sick but then when they told me that they had sad news for me I asked them what? They said “a sad news, be strong for what we are about to tell you.” So the police man told me and I asked what happened. They told me, “Sorry, Miss but your son passed away”. So I asked them why and they told me that he passed away due to breathing problems.” I asked them why since my son was not a person who was usually sick, I’ve never taken my son to the hospital. They told me that my son passed away due to breathing problems but then that concerns me because my son is not a person that I have to take to the hospital, I have never taken my son to the hospital for any kind of sickness. I don’t believe it, that is what is killing me inside. I want to be strong but I can’t because inside I just can’t take it.”
As we mentioned, senior officials in the Belize Police Department have been dispatched to the island to conduct intense investigations into this matter.