Saturday, October 26, 2013

Belize: Shooting, Shovelling, and Shutting up Fails

In early October of this year, a man who followed the common Internet advise of shooting, shovelling, and shutting up, is in big trouble.  It is much easier to talk about not having any involvement with police than it is put such talk into practice.  From

A man has been shot and killed in the Cayo district. He is 49 year old Pedro Ruben Luna Andrede. Mr Andrede was shot in Camalote village, Cayo, on a 400 acre private ranch in the roaring River Area, supposedly on Friday September 27. But no one except the shooter knew that Mr Andrede was dead. Pedro Andrede’s family got worried when he did not return home and by Saturday night a search party had formed. It is a bizarre killing because the shooter claims that it was self defense. However, after the man shot Pedro Andrede, he proceeded to burn and then bury the body. On Wednesday at the location we met up with the Family of Mr Andrede, waiting for a report from the Police. We spoke with one of his 9 children, 20 year old Esmeralda Luna, who told us what they know.
Small scale robbery with a machete used to be fairly common in Belize, but I do not know if it still is.  It is possible that the farmer, who has been taken into custody, was justified.  Belize is also known for having a police and judicial system that are not up to first world standards, so one can at least understand the desire not to involve the authorities.

What actually happened though, should give pause to those who advise people to follow in the Belizian farmer's example.  The person who was shot had a family.  The family looked for him, and got the police involved.   The police interrogated the farmer, and the farmer admitted what had happened, though he claimed self defence.

His self defence claim is now undermined by his attempts to dispose of the body, and the fact that he did not contact the police.

Hiding a homicide is not easy in the days of advanced forensic techniques.   A human body is not easy to dispose of.   I recommend that a person who has to shoot in self defense contact the authorities, or have someone else contact them.  You know that you did what had to be done.  The facts are on your side, but you have to be able to present them in the proper way to be sure that justice is done.

Remember that everything that you say on a 911 call is recorded and can be used against you in a court of law.

 Massad Ayoob recommends giving a limited amount of information to police.  This can be done, but it can be difficult in practice.    As with most things, a rehersal, even if only mental,  can help a great deal.

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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