Protests in Columbia, Toledo, over murdered mother

On Saturday, 30th August, the peaceful village of San Pedro Columbia, in the Toledo District, received the shocking news that a murder had been committed in their community.

According to Police reports, 61-year-old Agrapina Coc, a Belizean housewife of Columbia, Toledo, left home at about12:30p.m. to purchase goods at a local store, but she did not return home.

A search was conducted in the area by the family members and at about 7:36p.m Saturday night , the nude body of Agrapina Coc was discovered about 10 feet beside the main road at the Southern entrance to the Village.

Police say that she received a large cut wound to the centre of her head. The immediate area was searched and police were able to find several pieces of clothing with blood stains on them.

PlusNews Toledo Correspondent, Jose Caal, spoke with one member of the family.

vlcsnap-2014-09-02-07h11m17s174Jose Caal – Toledo Correspondent

“We have one of the daughters of the victim, who would like to share her feelings about what took place at late Saturday’s horrible crime.

How do you feel about the murder of your ma, in such a way that she was killed?

 

Ansella Coc – Daughter of Deceased Agrapina Coc

[Paraphrased] “It hurt me, and I feel sad, because I didn’t expect this would happen to my mum.  She just went to buy in the village.  Coming home, she didn’t reach back.  I thought this village was peaceful, but it’s not.”

Juan Caal

“Had your mum reported to you guys lately if she had noticed her life could have been in danger the past days.”

Ansella Coc

“Well, yes.  She did.  She passed four times this man. 

First, two times my mum passed this man by the gate, by the roadside with a big sharp machete.  He was watching towards the house.  She just thought this man probably wanted to rob us. So what my mum do when she go to the village, she lock my grandmother in her house, when she went somewhere.  But she didn’t think this will come to her.

The next two times it’s by the road.  When she go wash, she saw this man is peeping at her, by the creek.

I’m not really sure if the report it Police.  I don’t know, but she did report to some of us, and to her daughter-in-law.

We want him to get caught, and to lock him up.  That’s all we want. I don’t want him to come back.” 

vlcsnap-2014-09-02-07h10m57s18On Monday morning, a crowd of between one hundred to one hundred and fifty residents of San Pedro Columbia began gathering at the School seeking justice.

Correspondent Jose Caal was on the scene and gave this report.

Juan Caal

“Very early this morning, about 7 o’clock, the community gathered at the center, where they organized themselves in groups, to go out there and to look for this individual.  They have taken precautions to ensure that they are safe also, because this individual appears to be a dangerous person.  He is in the possession of a machete.

We have Alcalde Jose Che with us.”

Jose Che – Alcalde of San Pedro Columbia, Toledeo

“We have assembled the community.  Over a hundred show up, and divided into ten groups.  Each group have a place. 

The guy, he, he was at his house, but when he saw the group, he ran to the back. 

We caught up with him, and detained him.”

Juan Caal

“Also helping to mobilize the people is the Area Representative for Toledo West, Oscar Requena.”

vlcsnap-2014-09-02-08h11m20s157Oscar Requena – Area Representative for Toledo West

“This morning we convened a meeting, here on the grounds of the school.  The leaders came together and the community came out together, and voiced a very strong concern that we are not going to tolerate the peace and stability of our community to be interrupted.  We are certainly very much concerned.  We are hurt as a community, that this respectful senior citizen was murdered in our community.

You know, I am just coming in.  We were out in the outskirts of our community.  We have evidence, because people sighted him this morning.  He is running. They sighted him last night. I guess it’s just a matter of time.  

Juan Caal

“How do you describe the individual that you guys are looking for at this moment?”

Oscar Requena

“It is no secret that this individual has had a very long history of doing a lot of criminal activities in this community.  He had been involved in a lot of house break-ins.  People have actually seen him, but people are afraid to speak, and that is the problem.

Like what the Police said this morning, unless the community comes out and reports and gives information to the police, the police cannot act.

It is somebody who has had a long history of doing a lot of unusual activities in this community.

Juan Caal

“Tell me a little bit about the victim, Miss  Agrapina Coc.  How do you remember her?”

Oscar Requena

“I remember her as a senior citizen, a very respectful church-going individual. Those people are law-abiding, very productive family. Those people are people who worked in this community.  It is sad, the cold manner in which this person’s life was ended’

I want the family to know that, as a community, we are supporting them, and we are going to do everything that we can to restore peace and tranquility in our community.”

The body of Agrapina Coc was transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital where it was pronounced dead on arrival. The body now awaits a post mortem examination. Police are looking for one man for questioning as investigation continues.

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