On Monday we told you about the murder of Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford, whose body was reportedly found around 4 o clock on Sunday evening about a quarter mile from La Chosa in Western Belmopan.
Very little information was available as the police remained tight lipped in their handling of information regarding this case; however now we have been able to confirm that a man from the Las Flores Area, Belmopan, has been detained pending charges.
The man, who is only 18 years of age, accused of the heinous murder, lead police to recover De La Rosa’s missing white vehicle
which had been hidden in the bushes.
All in all it seemed like the closure of a high profile murder. However the story took a bizarre turn when the common law wife of the detained spoke to the media outside the police station, claiming her common-law husband acted in self-defence, when he allegedly killed the Panamanian Diplomat.
His relatives say that he had been working for Elite Securities in Belmopan, and it was only within his line of duty that he would cross paths with De La Rosa. That is until, according to his relatives, De La Rosa met him at the Belmopan Bus Terminal on Tuesday, and purportedly invited him to drink.
Wife of Accused
[Paraphrased] “He told me that he knew the man, he knows him from where he used to work, and so he meet him by the terminal. He was doing some shopping and the man offered him a ride and a drink. So he take it.
Then the man told him [that] he knew a nice place to take a drink and he took him to this place, like an isolated place where he didn’t know, and then he gave him another beer. Then the man tried to touch him in his private parts, and then the man took out his gun when he didn’t want it, and then he like tried to rape him. And that’s when he saw a blade in his car and he cut him.
He didn’t know where but he had to do it to defend himself, because it was his life or the man’s life.
He reached home, like he didn’t tell me in the first minute, but I saw him weird, but he was shy to tell me what’s going on. He was confused because he is not like that.
It is the first time he has done something like that.
When the Police reached for him, he was getting ready to come to the station by his own self, when the Police arrive at home.”
While the suspect’s allegations against the murdered diplomat are gruesome, the Minister of Foreign affairs told us on Monday morning that he remembers De La Rosa as an enthusiastic person who cared about strengthening the relationship between Panama and Belize, and he was saddened by the news of his passing.
Wilfred Elrington – Minister of Foreign Affairs
“I had met the Ambassador. He was only been here for a brief while, and I think everybody who came across him were impressed with him. They liked him very much, and he was very enthusiastic.
He really wanted to get the airline coming out of Panama into Belize as quickly as possible. I know that’s a project he was working on with a great deal of enthusiasm.
I was very disappointed to hear of his passing.
Our police have been doing excellent work however, and I am told they are just about to charge someone for the offense. They have recovered his cell phone, they have recovered the vehicle and they have gotten a caution statement, so if there is anything that is good about that situation, it is that in fact police have done an excellent job in seeming to resolve that.”
“Does this hinder the relationship between Belize and Panama?”
” Absolutely not. People understand that these things happen. It doesn’t reflect on the Government. Crimes are committed all over the world, every day and every minute of the day. They understand that.
Panama is an exceedingly mature society and Government, and they understand that these things happen in the scheme of things.
I’m also happy to inform that, in fact, only last week we had received a request from them for the appointment of a new Ambassador of Panama to Belize. So we are hoping to have that dealt with very, very quickly, very shortly, within the next week or two. So we will have a new Panamanian Ambassador to Belize.”
The previous Ambassador of Panama to Belize was His Excellency Joaquin E. Carrasquilla.
We understand that Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford, Charge De Affairs for the Embassy, had not been long in Belize. We were also informed by the Minister that plans are underway to have the body of De La Rosa cremated in Belize.
As for the person in custody, we were told by police that he would be charged on Monday, however up to the time of this news cast we had not received confirmation from police that those charges were pressed.