Relatives hope to give slain Venezuelan a 'proper funeral'

Police found her decomposing body  in a cesspit at Preysal.
Police found her decomposing body in a cesspit at Preysal.

Without much money, relatives of slain Venezuelan Johanna Díaz Sánchez hope to scrape up enough funds for a proper funeral.

A relative in Trinidad told Newsday by phone, "The borders are closed, we cannot send the body home. Everything has to be done here (TT).

"We hope to try for cremation so we can send her ashes for relatives in Venezuela. Her mother is a wreck. Johanna was the breadwinner of the family in Tucupita."

On Saturday afternoon, an estranged boyfriend confessed to Homicide Bureau Region III police that he dumped her in a cesspit. He led police to his home at Santa Clara Road in Preysal, where they retrieved her decomposing body from the cesspit.

A few days before, concerned relatives reported the 32-year-old missing.

Sánchez shared an on-and-off relationship with the suspect who works as a mechanic.

Bereaved relatives told Newsday that she left Venezuela a year and a half ago, hoping for betterment owing to the ongoing economic crisis.

She lived at Princes Town with her 14-year-old daughter who is now staying with a relative at La Romaine.

About two months ago, Sánchez appeared to have moved out. Relatives said she was a victim of domestic abuse.

Around January, late February, she gave birth to a stillborn.

The suspect, using a fake Facebook profile, took to social media and made allegations about her. Relatives said he also posted photos of her and warned against "Spanish women."

Relatives further accused him of cyberbullying.

"Many people were commenting. The information he gave was not the truth," the relative said.

The suspect remained in police custody up to late Sunday.

La Casita Hispanic Cultural Centre took to Facebook on Sunday afternoon to denounce the murder.

A post said the murder had united people in pain, anger, powerlessness, and justice. The centre called for an immediate end to violence.

The post said the young mother came to TT, like many others, searching for better living conditions and opportunities for her and her daughter.

“Her only mistake was to participate in an abusive relationship, perhaps in search of that security and stability that any woman wants,” it said.

An autopsy is expected to be done on Monday.

Sánchez is the second Venezuelan woman of late to fall victim to violent crimes.

Last month, three men raped and attempted to kill an 18-year-old girl after entering a car at Fyzabad. Two men, including a policeman, have been charged. The case is pending.

Last year, 40-year-old Evelyn Rojas was shot and killed at Carapichaima by a male relative. He remains on the run. To date, no one has been arrested.


"Relatives hope to give slain Venezuelan a ‘proper funeral’"

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