In an increasingly cash strapped society, taxi drivers are perhaps more and more vulnerable as targets to crime. Last week we told you about the murder of Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was bound at the hands and feet and his body found inside his taxi cab with a single gunshot wound to the head. And over the weekend, just five days after Beltran’s murder, another cab operator, 47 year old Dionicio Trujillo met his fate when his life was senselessly taken away. Sergeant of Police in San Pedro Town, Lenancio Bol told us that they believe the motive for his murder is robbery.

0005SGT. LENANCIO BOL – Station Sergeant, SP Police

“Police visited territory just off Marine Drive south of San Pedro Town just after 7:30am on Sunday, May 3rd 2015, after receiving information of a male person apparently dead, when they arrived, they found the body of a male Hispanic person lying face down in a drain in a pool of water just off the dirt road, the body was seeing where visible signs of injures was observed which appears to be a large cut to the center of the abdomen, chest area, the left forearm and to the throat, this male person was identified as Donicio Trujillo, 47 years old, naturalized Belizean taxi driver of San Pedro Town, also a grey in color Toyota Van was found on the center of road  about 20 to 30 feet away from where the body was found , we believe that it was the same taxi that the decease was driving, he was found in the ignition and as a result police gathering on the investigation.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“Any suspects, any motives?”

SGT. LENANCIO BOL – Station Sergeant, SP Police

“We have five persons detained at this time for questioning in regards to the murder and we believe that this was robbery.”

Maria Novelo – Reporter

“And since the spate of this violence on the island, is there any increase in patrols increase in police presence in the streets, what is going on there?”

SGT. LENANCIO BOL – Station Sergeant, SP Police

“Well, call it a spate of violence nevertheless we have things in place and patrol presence from 7am to 7pm up and running and it is prior to this and for the same reason to try to maintain much police presence in the said area within town.”

Dionicio_Trujillo_-_DeceasedAnd in the absence of any comprehensive national data, it is hard to assess how many scores of other taxi operators have been assaulted, robbed or otherwise ripped off. Last week we asked Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Manuel Heredia about crime on the island, where he responded that and we quote, “crime in under control on the island”. We can all agree, however, that the implementation of meaningful safety measures is moving at a snail's pace. Meanwhile, San Pedro Police has charged 3 men for the murder of 42 year-old San Pedro Taxi Driver Jose Beltran. They are Luis "Sito" Campos, Mark Arzu, and Santos Garcia. The charge was formally brought against them on Friday.

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