Augustin ‘Aboo’ Ramos is a resident of Hattiville who owns a small grocery store in his community. On Tuesday night, Ramos woke up to someone at his door telling him that his shop was on fire. Ramos managed to put out the fire before it engulfed the entire building. Love News visited Ramos today and he told us he believes that his neighbors are responsible.
“I saw the outside of my shop was engulfed in flames. I didn’t go into the shop right away but after we opened the shop I saw the inside of the shop also enflamed. I could feel it and I knew that my wife and I had problems with neighbors because of the way we live but we try to help each other. I have a love for my neighbors also because they are the ones that support the little business so I don’t know what their problem is with me and my wife because we try our best to help each other and they come and ask for a little credit I do give it to them.”
Ramos said this is not the first time he and his family have been targeted. He said last year he and his wife were attacked in their home. His wife was hit in her head leaving her badly injured.
“This is the second time we got caught up. It’s really frightening and really triggering because I don’t know what the problem is. The first time they broke into my house from the back door, they threw a half a block at me, they didn’t hurt me but I got away from them. I ran across to neighbors to ask for help. They hurt my wife also, they marked her forehead and some other minor injuries. This is the second time now and they’ve burnt down my house.
Ramos says that he is considering not re-opening his shop since he is afraid. If it is a message that perpetrators were sending, Ramos says that he got it.
“I don’t think I will reopen this shop here in Hattieville. I’m a bit scared now. I’m a true born Belizean but they told me here that I came here, how could I come here to Hattieville which is all Belize? There is now way I just popped up here, I am a true born Belizean from Dangriga. I’m a Ramos, what is the problem ? How can you tell me that I can’t live here or I can’t come here. This is the signal and this is talking to me and I understood.”
Ramos told us that there have been a number of times where he has woken up to feces on the counter of his shop. He stated that every time an incident occurred he would report it to the police. So, Love News visited the police to see how their investigation is going. We spoke to Sergeant Keith Clark, acting Officer in command at the Hattiville sub station.
“We received information of an attempted arson at the residence of Mr.Augustine Ramos he is a 59 year old businessman of old Hattieville. Upon our response to this incident police encountered a small wooden structure with the front portion engulfed in flames with the assistance of the residents and Mr.Ramos himself the fire was put out and the building saved. Information we received is that Mr.Ramos has problems with some of his neighbors and it is an ongoing situation whereby Mr.Ramos feels that he is being targeted due to his “success”. We were able to get statements from persons however none of these persons were actual eyewitnesses so we were unable to levy charges against two suspects that we had in custody. We do believe the persons whom we had detained are the same persons who are causing Mr.Ramos’s family problems however as I stated before the evidence to support the charges are not there so it is difficult for us to press charges against these people. Since my taking over here in November of last year the same individuals who we had detained I have encountered them about two or three times so I know they are persons who cannot get along with their neighbors.”
The two persons that were detained by police were two females. Ramos says he has been living in the village for about fourteen years.