Saturday, November 12, 2011

Retired US Chiropractor Murdered in Belize

Larry Johnson, 68, a retired American chiropractor, was killed on Wednesday night (November 9) during a home invasion at the Iguana Creek Resort he owned, 60 miles west of Belize City.

Belizean police have detained several suspects for questioning in the brutal slaying of Johnson, who previously practiced in New Mexico.

Johnson moved to Belize with his wife in 1993 after a dispute over taxes in the US and bought the rainforest land where he built the resort.

COMMENT: Johnson and one of his employees, Julio Funez, were severely beaten by six masked assailants, tied up and placed into Johnson's van that had been doused with gasoline. It is unknown as to whether it was ignited.

Hopefully, the suspects detained by police are those that actually beat up Johnson and Funez so as to shed some light on a motive for Johnson's gruesome death.

Although most tourists who have visited Belize know it only from a short-term travelers point of view. Having worked there off and on over a period of several years, I can say that living there is much, much different than being there as a tourist. Expats are far more likely to be targeted than tourists because their movements become better known to locals. Home invasions, armed robbery and assaults do occur; their probability is based on the level of security awareness of targets.

One thing I do know is that retaliation and retribution can be expected if local employees are not treated fairly and consistently.

This case will be updated as information becomes available.

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