Crime

Murder at Dream Valley Resort Was this a contract killing?

Belmopan Police have made no arrests for the daylight murder of resort manager, Yaima Duany Ledesma, 30.
Ledesma who was born in Cuba but has Swiss nationality, was shot twice at close range in the bar of the Dream Valley Resort, in Teakettle Village, Cayo District.

Ledesma has managed the Dream Valley Resort for three years and had just returned with a group of tourists when two men approached and shot her at close range.
Investigations by The Reporter revealed that the attack came from two men, dressed casually, who left their vehicle in the parking area of the resort, about 50 feet from the bar.

In no apparent hurry, the men strolled into the bar and ordered drinks from the bartender, while asking for the manager.

They made no attempts to mask their identities from the staff or from the tourists who were gathered nearby.
When Ledesma entered the bar in response to the summons from the men, one of them took out a 9mm pistol and fired five shots at her.

Three of the shots missed, gouging holes in the floor and bar. Two hit their mark – one in the head and one in the abdomen.

The men then left the bar, got back into their vehicle and drove off. Witnesses say two other men were waiting in the vehicle, which headed down the nearby Young Gal Road.

Ledesma was still breathing when employees rushed her to the Western Regional Hospital, but she died soon after.

Superintendent Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding Belmopan, told the Reporter that police have been following several leads to determine the motive for the killing of Yaima Ledesma. There is no doubt that the young woman was the target, and her death has all the earmarks of a contract killing.

There is much speculation about a possible motive. Friends of Ledesma say that she broke up with her boyfriend a month ago, and he had threatened her.

But employees also point to bad blood between Ledesma and a past employee of the resort. Apparently she had received death threats from that quarter as well.
What has baffled police and employees is the manner in which the deed was done. Neither attacker made any attempt to conceal his identity, entering or leaving the premises, leading to the conclusion that they have no fear of being recognized.

Neither of the men attempted to threaten any employee of the resort, but left immediately after shooting Ledesma.

The resort is now closed, indefinitely because of security concerns.
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Ledesma’s relatives say that if Belize Police are unable to find the killers, they will seek the assistance of Interpol, since she was a Swiss national.

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