Even as the nation of Belize enters into the September celebrations the nation has also been gripped by several killings that have competed in the news for the spotlight. One such killing is that of KTV Latino star and Belmopan taxi driver, Daniel Aguirre, who was found burnt to death on a lonely Arizona Road in his taxicab. Well, on Wednesday morning, four persons were brought up on weapon charges, after the gun belonging to Mr Aguirre was discovered at a home in the Village of Teakettle.
Shadel Dyer- Young has this story.
A crowd of family, friends and colleagues of the late Daniel Aguirre, gathered outside court this morning, chanting “We want justice,” for the senseless killing of the cab-driver and former KTV Latino Champ.
It has left me without a father. All what I ask for is that they make justice for my father’s death. That’s all we’re asking. All of these people out here are here under the rain just for nothing. Everybody here has a purpose why they’re here. My father was a big guy. He was a big man in this country. He was a singer. I won’t hear my father sing anymore.
Daniel Aguirre’s daughter’s sentiments were echoed by that of his sister’s, almost inconsolable of the thought of never again seeing her brother alive.
He did nothing to nobody. This is no correct they want to kill my brother. Get the Magistrate do something, please.
Standing in solidarity with the Aguirre family was the family of Jose Marin Umana, a local cab-driver whose body was found on the outskirts of Belmopan in July, his vehicle discovered three days earlier in Ontario Village.
This has to stop. Do you know how many taxi drivers are out there working, and somebody comes and takes one driver’s life. They’re not chickens to kill. They have to do something about this. This person who did it and their friends knew him. Mr Aguirre knew this man here. That’s why he went out. Somebody told me he hired the taxi from my husband, the same person who’s detained right now. Aguirre knew them. He asked for a trip. He wanted to go somewhere. Mr Aguirre went, because he knew them.
Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, supporters of both the victim and the defendants filled the gallery. Four persons were called up on arraignment after Aguirre’s gun was found at a home in the village of Teakettle. The discovery was made on Monday. Police say Noel Alexander Torres took them to the home of Miguel Dominguez, where the weapon was being held. Dominguez led authorities to an outside latrine, where the 9mm pistol was found beside the latrine. A magazine containing ten live rounds of ammo accompanied the weapon. The two men were charged with kept firearm without a gun license, kept ammunition without a gun license and handling stolen goods. Also present at the home when the discovery was made were 41 year old Blanca Araseli Dominguez and a sixteen year old girl. The two were arrested and charged with kept firearm without a gun license and kept ammunition without a gun license. In court today, Torres plead not guilty to all charges and was sentenced to five years for the weapon possession charges and one year for handling stolen goods – the sentences are to run concurrently, which means that he will spend a total of five years behind bars. The Dominguez clan and the teenager all plead not guilty and were remanded until December 12th. Before being whisked off to begin serving his sentence, Torres told the court “These people here, they don’t have anything in this matter. I am the only person responsible.” We emphasize that no one has been charged for the death of the well known entertainer, but according to Assistant Superintendent Sinquest Martinez, subject to the results of an autopsy, that charge may be levied soon.
We sent what we had to the office of the DPP. We need to wait for the outcome of the post-mortem, after which then we’ll get directive from the office of the DPP for us to proceed, or to see if there is sufficient evidence to charge for murder. We are depending heavily on the forensics for us to level a charge, along with the office of the DPP likewise.
The case is moving forward quite rapidly, as today’s arraignment comes less than a week after Daniel Aguirre and his weapon went missing.
ASP Sinquest Martinez – OC, Belmopan Police:
For the past five to six days it has been difficult for myself and my officers. Some people have been key-rolled in assisting with the investigation. We have done a lot of follow-ups between Belmopan, Teakettle, and Belize City, where we had to go likewise.
But until someone is held responsible for Daniel Aguirre’s death, his family continues to cry out for justice.
Apparently they just charged the guy for ammunition, weapon. They didn’t mention nothing about the owner of the gun is the one that has been murdered. I expect to hear it in court, but I didn’t. I believe they’re going through some other processing. That’s the only thing I can say about that. I think everybody’s very heartbroken, because he was a nice guy.
Both the families of Daniel Aguirre and Jose Umana believe that the two deaths are related. We understand that Police believe that they have their man and that he has confessed to the killing of Aguirre as well as other recent murders.
Reporting for PlusNews, Shadel Young.
Noel Torres, a Belize City resident, was sentenced to five years for each of the weapon offenses and one year for handling. The sentences will run concurrently, and so his 5 year sentence began today. PlusNews understands that Police have recovered surveillance footage that captured Aguirre has he left with passengers from the La Cabana night club, where he was last seen. We understand that that footage shows three men getting into Aguirre’s cab. We also note that along with Aguirre’s gun, what is believed to be the murder weapon was also found in Teakettle Village. This afternoon the autopsy was conducted in Belize City, after which the body was presented to the family and transported to Belmopan. The body was welcomed with a motorcade at the entrance to Belmopan.