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May 8, 2017

Mediator Challenges Gang ‘Suppressors’ for Upsetting Peace in the City

This afternoon, some ten men from the area were to attend a meeting at the Eastern Division South headquarters at Raccoon Street to lodge formal complaints and to seek recourse against the GSU over alleged brutality and ill-treatment at the hands of the officers attached to the unit. Mediator Dianne Finnegan, who has been working along with top cop Chester Williams in the mediation approach to let up on killings in the city, came out to find out what was happen. Finnegan says that while the GSU must be allowed to do its job, the approach by some of its officers is disrespectful. She wonders whether the Gang Suppression Unit is trying to upset the delicate peace in the city.

 

Dianne Finnegan

Dianne Finnegan, Mediator

“I’m not surprised that this is happening right now because I went on the media this morning to talk about what is going on—the system trying to smear what we are trying to put in place not for ourselves, but for Belize; for the safety of all Belizeans. So when I got a call that the guys are being held in a house and nobody can’t get in; I wasn’t sure what to expect so I came out to see what was going on. I had the opportunity to speak to two of the GSU officers to get a feel of what is going on. So they are conducting a search for what and how often do you go and do the same search over and over and coming up with the same results. So I am saying to them don’t you feel a bit calmer knowing that they are in their home just hanging instead of out there on the street side or driving along in foreign territory and exposing themselves to be shot or get hurt. We have to do this together if we want to continue to get the results that we are getting.  Do you think that these guys knowing that you all pull up on them any minute of the day would have those things at a glance for you to be able to take them into custody and is your purpose really trying to find something so that you can say, you see they are trying to build peace, but look at what they are doing. When you look for things, sometimes you do find. And what I am cautious and very, very scared about is that they find things and want to label these guys so that this initiative that we are working on looks bad. And that would be really sad because I would want to think that we are all in this together.”

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