Since the death of 18 year old Hilberto Sotz who died in police custody at the Cay Caulker Police Station on June 8th, two officers have been charged with first degree murder and three others have been placed on inderdiction. None of this, however, can abate the unfathomable grief that now grips the family after their teenage son was murdered at the hands of Police officers sworn to protect the law. His father, Santorino Sotz, says his son was an exemplary young man, who had his academic short falls in the past but was now trying to change his life around for the better. Indeed, when we called the Belmopan Baptist High School, the school he was enrolled in, we were told that Hilberto had a very outgoing personality and was always engaged in extracurricular activities. His father spoke to our colleagues at Krem TV about some of his achievements.
“The sports that he liked, he liked football and basketball. That is his choice, he loves that. Sometimes I don’t want him to go and do it. Sometimes I tell him that his foot is going to break. He said’ dad, don’t worry day. I just love my sport.” So sometimes I have to let him go and do it. I can’t stop him. He won medals for it. I saw it. He told me, ‘whenever I go do something dad, Im going to do it for you and my mommy.’ That is what he told me.”
“How did you , as parents, feel when he would come home and bring these certificates of achievement to you?”
“I proud of it. Right there, I see my son doing good. Without those performances, I would say, I cannot believe it just with words, but you see it now. As he does something he brings it to me. He shows me what he is doing. He gives me moral to push him more because I see what he is doing. That’s why I get hurt when the police man took my son’s life for not a cost. No matter if my son would commit a crime, they still have no right to kill my son.”
18 year old Hilberto was doing his 2nd year at the Belmopan Baptist High School after his father, a cab driver, took out a loan to pay for his son’s education.
“I got hurt due to what I fought for my son. My father didn’t do this for me. My father did not support me like this. That’s why I said that I will put my heart for my son. I have four of them and they are doing well in school. If they were not doing good, I would say that I wouldn’t defend them because I still have to help them any ways. I would say Hilbert told me he wanted to be a doctor. He told me he that he will do as best as he can. Whenever I die, he would take over his brother and mind his mother. He told me no matter how my mother lash me but I still love my bother because she is my mother. Dad, he said,’ I will do my best of my knowledge to fight for you.’ That is why I went to the bank and asked for help and thank God the bank proceed and helped me. I didn’t want to borrow the money to spend like that, I borrowed the money to pay school. That’s what hurts me because I am trying to better my son futur but the police took my sons life for nothing.”
Santorino Sotz says he is not fully satisfied with the actions taken against the five police officers and says he will be suing the entire police department for the death of his son.