An armed Guatemalan illegally in Belizean territory was shot and killed by Belize Defense Force Patrol in the Chiquibul National Park.
It happened on Saturday afternoon when a patrol of Forestry officers, police and Belize Defense Force personnel were some seven kilometers north of Rio Blanco and some three and a half kilometers east of the border line. That is where they encountered some armed men who the BDF ordered to stop.
But instead of stopping, the armed Guatemalans opened fire on the Belizean authorities who returned fire, fatally injuring one of the Guatemalans. The body of the man was taken to the San Ignacio Town Community Hospital with gunshot wounds to the side of his body, abdomen and his leg.
The dead man had on his body a 12 gauge pump action shotgun and in the area where the incident took place, a plastic bag containing 171.1 grams of cannabis seed. The governments of Belize and Guatemala have since issued a joint statement on the death of the Guatemalan national who has been identified as 26 year old Tomas Ramirez.
The statement says that both Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President Otto Fernando Perez Molina “have been in telephone contact on the regrettable incident” where PM Barrow
“assured the President that his government will investigate the facts relating to the incident, and should it be found that there is culpability by persons involved they will be brought to justice in accordance with the law.”
The Prime Minister also made a commitment to full transparency in the process and offered to share the reports with the Government of Guatemala. Both governments have requested the support of the OAS to assist in the investigation. In the joint statement, the governments of Belize and Guatemala also expressed condolences to Ramirez’ family.