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Oct 26, 2015

GSU Raids Home of San Jose Residents… On Whose Instructions?

Did Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega dispatch members of the feared Gang Suppression Unit to terrorize residents of San Jose in the Orange Walk District? That’s a question to which we certainly won’t get a definitive, official and credible answer. But the residents who woke up before dawn on Sunday to the sounds of the GSU breaking down their doors are convinced that the wrath of the Police was called down on them for political reasons. It’s a disturbing allegation, but not an incredible one. So was it state-sanctioned, politically motivated terrorism? Mike Rudon headed north for answers, and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Pedrito Teck and his family live in this home in San Jose. By the signs you can readily assume political affiliation, in a community which obviously takes its politics very seriously. But while politics is one thing – a pre-dawn visit by the GSU is quite another. That’s what happened on Sunday morning while everybody was fast asleep.

 

Pedrito Teck

Pedrito Teck, Home Raided By GSU (Translated)

“When I opened my window they told me not to move, to put my hands on the window. They were kicking the door. They told me to open the door, but I asked them how I was going to open it if they told me not to move and to put my hands on the window. So they told me to let my wife open it. She went to open it and they were still kicking it. She let them in and they came in to search and told me that they were looking for drugs and guns. I told them that they wouldn’t find that here. They told me they would have to search and I told them to go ahead.”

 

Two of the GSU officers then entered the house and one searched through the home. Teck was taken outside where one of the officers started questioning him. But probably not the questions you’d expect from a supposedly elite Police unit.

 

Pedrito Teck (Translated)

“Why am I going to vote for the P.U.P.? How much was I paid to put up the sign? I told him nobody paid me anything. He asked if I was U.D.P. or P.U.P.  I used to be U.D.P., and I told them that. He asked me what the sign says and I told him I haven’t read it. He asked me if I am sure I am going to vote for the P.U.P.  I told him yes. Don’t you want to talk to Mr. Vega? I can send for Mr. Vega if you want. I told him no. Because of this I am more sure that I will go with the P.U.P.”

 

Sotera Mai, Home Raided by GSU (Translated)

“When they arrived here that was the first thing they told us – from the beginning to the end. Before they left they told us again on the street – do you want us to send for Mr. Vega so he can talk to you? I told them yes, call him…tell him to come. But I know that he won’t come. I hope that with this that we’re doing he hears us and leaves us alone. We’re not in Cuba. We’re in Belize and we need the freedom to sleep and to move around.”

 

Francisca Teck

Francisca Teck, Mother of Pedrito Teck (Translated)

“I want Mr. Vega to see me right now. When he came for a meeting at the Multi-purpose Complex I hugged him and everything. I am U.D.P.  I was with him. But he came and touched my son, and that really hurts me. He didn’t have to do that.”

 

Pedrito Teck (Translated)

“It shocked me because it is the first time in my life that Police have come to kick down my door in these hours of the morning. It shocked me. Never in my life imagined that Mr. Vega would do something like this to me.”

 

Another family received a visit from the GSU that morning.

 

Emerita Pinkney

Emerita Pinkney, Home Raided by GSU

“At around four to five am the GSU came to our house and they broke down the door and they got in like animals. They got in like animals. They broke our window where we sleep. We have two little daughters and when they broke the window I shouted to them please don’t break the window because I have two little girls. They could be hurt. And they still broke the window. They got in and told us to get on the floor. We did it because like we told them we don’t have anything to hide. We don’t have any drugs or guns. And they still got in like animals because they are not people, the way they treated us. We don’t have any problem with anybody.”

 

Pinkney says that they were warned by friends in the U.D.P. that the GSU would be coming.

 

Emerita Pinkney

“Days before we have to sleep somewhere else and we have our house where we can sleep every night. We don’t have the need to sleep somewhere else. And that night I told my husband I will not go anywhere because I have my house and my bed. So I don’t have any need to go anywhere because we don’t owe anybody. So that night we stayed.”

 

These families are afraid, and perhaps with very good reason.

 

Emerita Pinkney

“We don’t like the way they treat my husband, the way they treated me, my little girl she told me Mom I don’t want to stay home anymore because I’m afraid they will arrest you and me. I told my little daughter no baby they will not come again because we don’t owe anybody. I want to tell Mr. Vega from today, anytime – if my husband, me, my daughters or anybody from my family gets hurt or anything else, he’s going to have the fault.”

 

Sotera Mai

Sotera Mai (Translated)

“We can’t even sleep content in the house. We’re afraid that they would come back and hurt one of us. Those GSU are to do the dirty work for the government because they put them there, and that’s why we are so afraid, for my nephews and for my son who is always on the street.”

 

Emerita Pinkney

“I’m afraid. I’m afraid. I’m going to tell you the truth. I’m afraid. Because if they could do that imagine what they could do. They could kill my husband…they could kill me or even somebody from his family. And that’s not fair. That’s not fair.”

 

Pinkney says that when the GSU arrived they made a comment that her home is the factory…a reference to the fact that signs for the P.U.P. candidate are constructed there. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

We note that another family was visited by the GSU that morning. All three, coincidentally – or probably not coincidentally – are traditionally U.D.P. supporters but have changed allegiance.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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4 Responses for “GSU Raids Home of San Jose Residents… On Whose Instructions?”

  1. bababooey says:

    The GSU needs to be disbanded immediately.
    They are stomping on peoples rights and freedom and acting above the law.

    These people are not gang members so what are they doing there? They are suppressing. Why do they wear camouflage? They are not soldiers fighting in the jungle. It is for intimidation and psycological control.

    What they did to Mr. Menjivar, shooting hundreds of rounds of ammo into a house full of children is disgusting and cowardly. They should have been disbanded then.

    Why are they acting at the whim of Vega? Units like this are the fist step in a Totalitarian government.

    When they start intimidating people to vote a certain way, this is a huge red flag and you should be afraid.

    Be very afraid of what is to come. Barrow is up to something ramming this election down our throats and this just re-enforces that theory.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    GSU- Gang Supression Unit but WTF are they doing threatening civilians who are not gang bangers but affiliated to another political party. What is wrong with this elite force. Are they like the death squad that is being used y the gov. to harass people like that is utterly uncalled. Because politics are so nasty I’ve taken an oath never to vote again. In a democratic country voicing your opinion is no longer taken as freedom of speech but political war.
    Why does future election stop having campaigners who are violent risk to civilians and to better set the date of election and done. no campaigning just go vote. If the party in place did good why go out to campaign? simple as that.

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    I thought Belize was a Democratic Country.Why do these Politicians in Belize think that they can intimidate the Law abiding Citizens and get away with it?what about Freedom of speech and the right of the people to decide who they want to vote for.

  4. estephanie santos says:

    This has gone to far!! we need to make a change, for better not for worst. those people are corrupts and they are destroying our country. We are suppose to live here in this country with freedom, security, protection. What this Deputy prime minister has done to does family is unacceptable. A shame for that party!! especially for him having that position on the country!

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