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Nov 3, 2015

Party Supporters Square Off Outside Polling Station

Also in San Ignacio, there was a near-rumble on Monday night following a standoff between supporters of both mass parties in front of the Center for Employment Training. Reports are that the United Democratic Party took control of the area outside that station, cordoning it off with flags and red and white cloth on both sides. Generally one party would take one side, and the other party the next, but in political hotspots like Cayo…one day before elections…anything goes. We’re told Police had to be called in to calm the angry crowds of supporters and keep the peace, and today Superintendent Andrew Ramirez told us that the entire incident was unfortunate.

 

Supt. Andrew Ramirez, O.C., Cayo Formation

Supt. Andrew Ramirez

“A week and a half ago the returning officers for the three main areas that fall under my jurisdiction, namely Cayo North, Cayo Northeast and Cayo Central. The returning officers had spoken to both parties along with the lieutenants where they had agreed that one would take one side and the other the other side. That was a gentleman’s agreement and I was hoping that it could have borne fruit. Unfortunately yesterday’s incident reflected that one of the parties decided to take both sides, which in turn irritated the other party that was left out. And then we had a number of supporters on both sides, and none of them wanted to cave in. It shows that not everybody keeps their word to truth, and I would just hope that they can desist and let them be respectful and as men and women who had made decisions…one take one side and the other take the other side. Because the same thing that they do not want to happen – if they do not want to happen it will happen. The honourable Dean Barrow and the leader of the Opposition honourable Francis Fonseca are on the television basically saying that they want peace…they want peaceful elections, they want it to be democratic. Yet we have supporters from both parties who are hell-bent to create havoc as if there’s no room for peace. I ask them to desist because at the end of the day Police will have to execute their duties and what if injuries are sustained by these individuals and they are hospitalized – then they will be not be eligible to vote because they will be basically clinging to life if they do not desist.”

 

While relative peace prevailed in that instance, Cayo is known to be one of the most volatile areas in the country during elections.

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