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Apr 25, 2016

B.D.F. Commander Reveals Details of Chiquibul Ambush

David Jones

While reports from Guatemala have spread like wildfire, along with condemnation of the B.D.F. at the highest levels of government, the incident is still under investigation by the O.A.S.  Guatemala’s Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, has been particularly focused on the B.D.F., criticizing their training and rules of engagement. Today, for the first time, B.D.F. Commander David Jones released the details of the shooting, which he said happened as soldiers went on the ground to verify illegal encroachments spotted from a Defender flyover. Jones also says that Foreign Minister Morales spoke prematurely and inaccurately.

 

Brig. Gen. David Jones, Commander, Belize Defense Force

“We saw the encroachments so B.D.F. and FCD decided to go and do the investigation to see how they could arrest the situation. Unfortunately the incident occurred on Wednesday night where the patrol at approximately five o’clock in the evening detained the first gentleman who was about thirty-three years of age. He was detained, he was questioned as to what he was doing in Belize and he explained that he was planting of course illegally inside Belize. They asked him if he knew where he was and he admitted that he knew he was in Belize. He also admitted that he has been doing that for years, planting illegally in Belize. So he was detained, and two hours after while the patrol was in the harboring position the patrol came under fire. The patrol returned fire. Bear in mind this was in the dark. The soldiers and the members of the patrol could not see who was firing at them and they could not see who they were firing at. So it was their right for self-defense. They defended themselves, unfortunately there was a fatality. The young boy was killed. It is not the practice of the B.D.F. or any army to engage minors and fire at them with the intent to kill them. His statements, I believe, were taken out of context because it was premature in that the investigation wasn’t concluded yet. He hasn’t been presented with the facts as yet because the O.A.S. is investigating the situation. They haven’t concluded their investigation so he could not have known the facts, so his statements are premature. He should not have made such a statement but he made the statement based on the information he had. But all military require training. Our soldiers follow rules of engagement similar to any other military and I restate that our soldiers and the member of the patrol acted in self-defense. Unfortunately it ended in a fatality.”

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