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Mar 30, 2016

Injured B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey is Released from K.H.M.H.

This morning, Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was receiving treatment for injuries to his hand and abdomen.  Lambey was promptly handed over to the Belize Defense Force accompanied by his family. He was shot on March twenty-sixth about four hundred meters east of the Belize/Guatemala border in the Valentin Camp area in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Lambey was among members of a detachment that came under fire from armed men believed to be Guatemalans.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Shamira Lambey, Niece of Shooting Victim

“My uncle he is recuperating…thank God. And I’m very glad that everything worked out. When it comes to his medication, he is responding well to it and we just ask the nation to continue praying.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

After three days of receiving medical treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, just before noon today, Belize Defense Force Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was discharged and released from the facility. The officer from Punta Gorda was among a group of soldiers stationed at the Valentin Camp Conservation Post who were ambushed on Saturday afternoon by armed men, believed to be Guatemalan nationals. The Belizean defenders were on a routine water supply and administration task when they came under attack and Lambey was hit to the arms and abdomen.

 

Shamira Lambey

Shamira Lambey

“We received a message and it was quite shocking and we did not believe, but right after that we got a call and it was quite devastating to hear such news. And I got a second call and it said go on social media and see what is happening and my god there it was stating that it was an ambush that had taken place, by Guatemalans. The family was distraught; we could not even believe that this has happened to my uncle.”

 

Forty-four year old Staff Sergeant Lambey, and father to one daughter, is a carrier soldier; he has been with the force for twenty years and has dedicated his life to protect the country.

 

Shamira Lambey

“We hope that this does not occur to any other security personnel in our country because every soldier has a loved one and every security personnel out there has a loved one and the nation needs to know that he is a very good man. For all those who know him, he is a very good man and he has served his country. And he put his life on the line for the country.”

 

George Lovell

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs until Tuesday issued a release to the effect that the Organization of American States and Belize’s Ambassador in Guatemala are to take action to determine who is responsible for the shooting.

 

On the Phone: Col. George Lovell (Ret’d), C.E.O., Ministry of National Security

“One of our staff sergeants shot three times—twice in the arm and once in the abdomen. He was taken out of the area where he was shot and flown to the Karl Heusner Hospital where he was looked at and he is in a stable condition. We have since asked the B.D.F. to provide us with a report so that we can take necessary action as it relates to who may have shot him and the area where he was shot. It is believed that it could be Guatemalans and for that we want to engage the O.A.S. and the Guatemalans because the area is within the adjacency zone.”

 

Danny Conorquie

Shamira Lambey

“I do not believe a Belizean would shot another Belizean because of love of country and love of self. So I do believe it has to be the Guatemalans because they have been infringing upon our country for some time now; taking our gold, coming into our country and receiving work.”

 

Two years ago, on September twenty-fifth 2014, nineteen year old Tourism Police Officer Danny Conorquie was gunned down, purportedly by Guatemalans, at the Caracol Archeological Site in Cayo. This recent shooting of Lambey shows continued incursions into Belizean territory.

 

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA [File: March 29th, 2016]

“This latest incident as it relates to Staff Sergeant Lambey only cements what COLA has been warning; that ignoring the problem will not solve it. It will not do any good and it will only lead to mass massacre. I believe this latest incident only amplifies the heightened tension at the border. And so we are calling out at the civil society, the unions, the Maya Leaders Association and every other N.G.O. to join COLA to denounce the latest Guatemalan aggression. We lost one of our officers in line of duty, Corporal Conorquie; we’ve gotten one of our B.D.F. soldiers who was shot and injured…who is critically ill and we’ve also in the past had our B.D.F. soldiers arrested and we had to in return kidnap them out of Guatemala. If the government cares about the sovereignty of this nation, if the government has an inch of patriotism within them, they will give a relevant and accurate response as it relates to this latest incident.”

 

Shamira Lambey

“My advice would be to call on the necessary authorities to—I guess they cannot stop it—but at least to put measures in place to protect these soldiers, to protect another soldier’s family from going through the pain that my family and I have been suffering, to protect the police officers, to protect the coastguard and any other security personnel out there for that matter; just to protect our Belizeans.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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