Belizean beaten, then shot and killed in a hotel in Melchor, Guatemala
Friday, April 25th, 2014
A young Belizean from western Belize was shot and killed in Guatemala over the Easter weekend. He is 22-year-old Edwin Javier Chan, a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in the Cayo District. According to multiple media reports from Guatemala, the employee of Tropic Air was killed sometime between Friday April 18th and Saturday April 19th in the bordering municipality of Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala.
Chan was reportedly fatally shot near the Auto Hotel in the Barrio Campito area of Melchor. According to media reports Chan had a gunshot wound to the left side of his head, most likely from a handgun. Guatemalan police reported that Chan had not been robbed of his jewelry or passport, since the only missing item was his personal cell phone. Police also confirmed that Chan appeared to have been beaten before being executed.
It is uncertain what led to Chan’s death, but information from Immigration Departments in Guatemala and Belize indicated that Chan left for Melchor at 4:30 PM on Friday evening, and was reportedly in the company of two friends. Those friends have indicated to police that he separated from them at about 9:30PM on Friday. Chan’s passport has an exit stamp from Melchor dated Friday April 18th – the same day he entered Guatemala. According to Guatemalan officials, it suggests that on Friday night, Chan had crossed the Guatemalan side of the border, however he did not make it over to the Belize side, which is only a few feet away. That is because Chan’s passport had no re-entry stamp to Belize and according to authorities, it suggests that he was likely called back over to the Guatemalan side before he could have crossed into Belize. From there, authorities are clueless as to what happened next. Residents in the area of Barrio Campito in Melchor said they heard shots around 4:00 AM on Saturday but it is uncertain if it had anything to do with Chan’s murder. Chan was discovered near a hotel and bar sometime around 8AM on Holy Saturday. Authorities also said that his head injuries suggest he was hit with a sharp object.
Melchor de Mencos is known to be very dangerous, and gun violence is common. It is not the first time that a Belizean has been killed in the bordering municipality. In October of 2012, 23-year-old Miguel Gonzalez, also a resident of Benque Viejo del Carmen Town, was killed in Melchor. No one was ever arrested for his death.
Chan’s body was returned to Belize on Saturday night and was buried on Monday April 21st. Guatemalan police are investigating the matter and there has been no word from Belizean authorities regarding the incident.
Police in Belize have indicated that Chan had no police record and was not known as a troublemaker. Chan was an employee of Tropic Air and was stationed at the Maya Flats terminal in the Cayo District. Tragically, Chan died a violent death similar to his mother, 41-year-old Maria Perez. Perez was found viciously chopped to death on the Green Gold Banana Farm on January 4th earlier this year. There have been no indications if the two murders are related in anyway.