Monday, February 6, 2017
San Pedro Police have made no arrests in the gruesome murder of Jose Felix Ayuso, a well-known AIDS activist from San Pedro who was found stabbed to death inside his home in the island town. The 44 year-old was well-respected and liked by the residents for his altruism and for his love of the San Pedro Carnaval event.
His sister discovered his body inside his apartment, located at the corner of Jew Fish and Seaweed Streets. That was at around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, 2017, after he missed work for that entire day. She last saw him alive at around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 1st at his business place JoSe’s Salon. That’s where he caters to the beauty needs of his local and international clients. When he didn’t show up for an appointment, she went to check up on him, and that’s when she found his lifeless body.
Police say that he suffered multiple stab wounds all over his body, most likely inflicted by a “sharp object,” but no further specifics were disclosed. Sources told the Belize Times
, though, that he was stabbed at least thirty-seven times. Based on the condition of the body, Police believe that he was killed on Wednesday night, and they say that the front door was left open with no signs of forced entry. The investigators aren’t able to say if burglary or theft were involved in Ayuso’s killing, but they say that the stabbing has the appearance of a crime of passion. They are hoping that his neighbours will be able to assist them in locating his killer. This is a concern because the assailant had almost an entire day’s head start to escape from the cops. That will make solving the crime a bit more difficult since the person could have fled the island and headed to any part of the country.
Ayuso leaves behind a daughter, a son, 2 grandchildren and his extended family. He also has his friends and the people of San Pedro who remember him fondly as the activist who was the main personality behind the San Pedro Aids Commission. He worked along with the team to help island patients afflicted by the disease and who were in need of help to access healthcare. He was also a big part of the Carnaval Comparsas which happens annually in February.
One of his best friends said, “He was just dedicated to help people. I can't believe how people could do this to him when he is a person that wouldn't mess with anyone. He is a person that if he sees you need water he will get you water. If he sees you need some money he will give you money. He did not discriminate against sexuality or colours. He was an icon for me."
Another colleague added, "There is probably not a person that I know of that had his size of heart, his giving spirit, his altruism. He exhibited everything, all the best characteristics that we all want for ourselves, he had in spades and again I think that's why everyone is so in shock, because he was such a beloved member of this community for this to happen.”
His friends say that they will participate in the upcoming Carnaval Comparsas as a way of remembering him, and reminding themselves that he loved the pageantry of the event.