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Sep 9, 2014

Banak Street Grenade Revisited

A British A-One grenade was retrieved from the streets of the Old Capital last Saturday. The grenade was located at an abandoned house on Banak Street. While that operation was successful and brought some comfort to residents as we go into the holidays, there have been instances when grenades hurled at throngs of persons have ended fatally. Tonight News Five’s Isani Cayetano goes to the archives and looks at cases when grenades have not been as neatly retrieved.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Crime and violence in Belize City, has arguably hit an all-time high statistically and an unsurprisingly new low, as it pertains to the extent to which perpetrators are willing to wage war in the open-ended rivalry that has gripped the Old Capital.  As the social tapestry continues to come apart at its seams, there has been an escalation in the number of heinous crimes being committed; to a degree, closely mirroring the violence that has taken over parts of Mexico and elsewhere in the region.

 

Annette Gentle

Belize’s first real scare came on May eighteenth, 2008.

 

Annette Gentle, Resident, Mayflower Street [File: May 19th, 2008]

“Da like something explode, like a gas tank explode but no wah small gas tank, wah extra big gas tank weh di explode.”

 

That blast was the detonation of a hand grenade that was lobbed into a group of residents on Mayflower Street.  The deadly explosion injured as many as twelve people, killing sixteen-year-old Darren Trapp.  The stage would be set for a new wave of panic.  While a pair of siblings was subsequently charged with murder, as well as a slew of other related offences, a subsequent attack, this time on a massive scale, was being planned.

 

Fast-forward September sixth, 2008.

 

James Requeña

Major James Requeña, B.D.F. Bomb Squad [File: September 8th, 2008]

“I was out here with my family watching the carnival. I got a call from the operation room saying that a grenade was thrown in the parking lot of the K.H.M.H. just at the end of the carnival when the last show was passing. I immediately contacted the police officers around and we searched the area and we found the bag. I opened the bag. Below where the safety pin is, I saw that the safety pin was removed and so I asked them to clear off the area a hundred meters and I will be thankful to the public, they cooperated. They took a while but they cooperated.”

 

2008 would prove to be a record year for the number of grenade attacks.  By mid-November, a seventh projectile had been chucked near the intersections of Kraal and Fabers roads.

 

Voice of: Witness [File: November 17th, 2008]

“I di get clothes and pampers fi go clean up dehn when dis loud bang. All I could dah mi do dah just go pan di bed and cova she down while di next one mi deh inna di hall wid my aunty dehn. me and my three sista dehn we come out but my cousin ova deh tell we go back in cause dah wah grenade and dats why we come back in. When everything ease down den I gone fi my ma. Dat dah all we happen.”

 

Fortunately, no one was injured during the explosion.  The proliferation of hand grenades across the streets of Belize City, for the most part, have been attributed to a batch that was reported missing from the British Army Training Support Unit, BATSUB, in Ladyville circa 2008.  Since then other explosives have been successfully recovered and disposed of, including a fragmentation grenade that was found in an abandoned building on Banak Street over the weekend.

 

Edward Broaster

Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster, Deputy O.C., Eastern Division [File: September 8th, 2014]

“On Saturday we received intelligence on the location of a grenade. We quickly went to the area where we searched an abandoned building on Banak Street and we discovered a British A-one defensive grenade. We called in the bomb expert who came in and took control of the scene and carted away the grenade for safe disposal. At this time, we will not dispose the investigation that we had carried out prior to the intelligence that led us to the discovery of the hand grenade nor will we disclose what was the intent for the use of the grenade. But one thing we want to assure the public that we’ve been saying all along is that we have been working hard, we have been diligently as to ensure the safety of the community and this is as a result of the hard work that we have been putting in place.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “Banak Street Grenade Revisited”

  1. H@tari says:

    Call in the K9 unit. We have several very good explosives detection dogs.

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