By Marion V. Ali
The family of Ramon Cervantes Sr., of Orange Walk is still reeling from the kidnapping and brutal murder of their loved one two weeks ago but reports are that they are not pleased with the way the police investigation has evolved.
Someone close to the family has informed The Reporter that Cervantes’ relatives feel that the magnitude of the July 1st kidnapping and murder had involved the use of heavy vehicles and at least one policeman due to the handcuffs with which the former mayor was restrained.
They also feel that other people and weapons were used to successfully murder Cervantes. The family surmised that the three men who have been charged for Cervantes’ death could not have been working alone.
The family believe the operation required a substantial amount of money that those charged could not afford on their own.
Our source indicates that the Cervantes family believes that their loved one was killed on Wednesday, July 2, the morning after he had gone missing and after he had spoken with his son, Ramon Cervantes Jr.
The younger Cervantes later indicated that, in the conversation with his father, Cervantes Sr. sounded weak and disoriented. The family does not believe, however, that there is any link between Cervantes’ murder and that of Abac, whose decomposing corpse was discovered on an adjacent farm to where Cervantes was found. The family, we were told, did not know her.
While one media house reported that the phone call from Cervantes to his son, Ramon Cervantes, Jr., was traced to an area across from his farm, the family has not been able to ascertain this.
Neither the family nor police have suggested a motive for the crime.
The Cervantes family is of the view that the killing of Ramon Cervantes Sr. was not just a random kidnapping and murder but was the act of a much larger operation.
Cervantes Jr., meanwhile, has gone publicly to state that the police investigation falls short of what the family expected because “in the second week (following the murder), it seemed that they were taking the investigation in another direction.”
Cervantes Jr. pointed to politically connected persons who were detained and never charged, the policeman whose handcuffs were purportedly used to restrain his father during the kidnapping, and other suspects that he said police indicated they were going to pick up but never did.
The family also feels, according to our source, that if it weren’t for their persistence, the police would not have charged anyone.
Cervantes Jr., who is the People’s United Party’s standard bearer in the Orange Walk North, has understandably been torn apart by the incident and he is “working on recomposing himself and getting focused…to once more live a normal life.” He has not definitively indicated whether he will still contest the next general elections.
Meanwhile, on Saturday as the government representatives filed through the streets of Orange Walk Town to pay their last respects at the state funeral for the late Ambassador Fred Martinez, about 70 Orange Walk residents staged a protest against the manner in which the police investigation has been executed thus far.
According to one of the protesters, Orange Walk residents are upset that only a fraction of the over one dozen persons detained and who they believe were involved in the crime have been charged. The protester said she believed that those charged are just being used as the scapegoats.
“They are the persons, I think, that were hired by someone higher to commit this crime and there were other persons involved who were questioned and released, and we strongly believe that they could have been charged. Aiding and abetting an conspiracy is a crime, so there could have been other charges brought against the others that were detained.”