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Going down the wrong path Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00

On Friday July 11 2014, Ramon Cervantez Jr. called Plus TV to dispel any notion that neither he nor his recently deceased father held any lease to a portion of Goff’s Caye. That call translated into an impromptu interview between the caller and the host of Plus TV.  Mr. Cervantez expressed certain concerns regarding the recent murder of Ramon Cervantez Sr. and the progress of the ongoing investigation.

It became very apparent that the host of Plus TV had a foregone position with regards to this case, and tried very hard to get Mr. Cervantez to align with his perspective. Plus TV is insinuating that our local crime fighters need to be overseen by a private investigator. How can we claim to be Belizean and yet at every turn we put down our very own? What was very disturbing was his suggestion that should Manuel Castillo be caught by the police, that more than likely he will be killed to silence him. It sounds as if though he has information relating to this case that he should share with the police.
Mr. Cervantez’s concerns are addressed below.

CONCERN: There was allegation that the handcuffs used to restrict Mr. Cervantez Sr. were property of a police officer. To date the investigation has not addressed this allegation nor has any mention been made of this officer.

Should this be the case, the deceased family does have a legitimate concern and the lead investigators owe them some form of explanation. In no a shape or form should there be the perception of information being withheld by the police in order to protect one of its own.

CONCERN: The family has deep concerns that possible violation of the suspects’ natural justice rights may give rise to suspects being freed on technicality as a result of such violations. This arose out of allegations that suspects may have been detained for longer than the legal limit of 48 or 72 hours before being arrested.

Not being a legal mind this is a serious cause for concerns. However one has to take comfort in the fact that the decision to charge was made by the DPP and not the police. This certainly would have been a factor known to her prior to laying charges. The DPP should be able to discharge any fears regarding this concern with a simple press release.

CONCERN: No motive has been ascertained and the police have released other persons detained for questioning. They are of the opinion that some of these people may have information.

While one can understand the anxiety of the family in wanting justice, the law enforcement agencies have to balance the rights of persons detained with their possible contribution to the investigation. Police cannot hold persons indefinitely especially without establishing a link to the crime.

CONCERN: The abduction and planning required financial support which the Cervantez family figures the suspects do not possess.

The family has drawn this conclusion because of the type of vehicle or vehicles utilized in the execution of this crime. Very little is known or has been made public with regards to vehicles used in this crime and with regards to registration and ownership. Indeed the police has not released any information in this regard and the media has not shared any. The investigation is ongoing and hopefully this angle will be highlighted shortly. Criminals are innovative and to assume they lack means may be erroneous.

CONCERN: The family has concluded that the murder was a hit and not murder for ransom. They have not ruled out politics.

It is very sad that the family has taken this view before allowing the investigation to conclude. The modus operandi utilized in the Cervantez murder parallels that used in the murder of Sonia Abac. The police have well established that both murders were committed by the same group of men. Both Mr. Cervantez and Ms. Abac were abducted. They were both cruelly beaten and then murdered. They were both buried within close proximity to each other.

There exists a possibility that because the police were proactive and launched its search approximately six hours after the disappearance combined with the heavy presence of other agencies, that that may have caused the perpetrators to have second thoughts. The quick response may have made an attempt to demand ransom high risk. Mr. Cervantez at that juncture became disposable since he would have been able to identify his abductors.

The idea that it may be political is a bit far reaching and adds a damper to an already sad situation. Politically speaking if one is looking at motive, though very slim, one would have to start with the PUP Orange Walk North challenger to Cervantez Jr. It sure was a brow raiser when after ten years of none payment of child support and a couple days before the PUP Orange Walk North convention Ortega was almost jailed. Had he been jailed, he would have forfeited the convention leaving Cervantez Jr. unchallenged. Coincidence?

The Abac and Cervantez case may be the tip of the iceberg to an organized ring of planned abductions in Orange Walk. It is alleged that police have uncovered a list of potential kidnapping victims. This seems to be plausible. Let’s examine a timeline. Sonia Abac was abducted April 23. On April 24, the Cabanas family was presented with a threatening video allegedly demanding money or if not harm would come to family members. The involvement of the police and engagement of security may have temporarily postponed the execution of the Cabanas threat. On July 1 the Cervantez abduction occurred, which is lending credence to an alleged hit list.

If the existence of a ring and a list of possible abduction suspects exist, then it may be safe to assume that the police needs to be very careful and guarded with the information they can afford to release. The public needs to be patient and allow the police to do their jobs. We all want information, but not at the expense of compromising these ongoing investigations.