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Sep 7, 2017

Ombudsman asked to intervene

Lionel Arzu

Ombudsman of Belize Lionel Arzu has been asked to intervene to publicly condemn the behavior of the police in respect of several recent incidents involving members of the Opposition and the press, most recently the attack on the Tower Hill Bridge, by Belizean Doctor Gerald Zuniga.  Doctor Zuniga writes of his total condemnation of Wednesday’s incident which he describes as systematic terrorism by the state and cites such previous incidents as the expulsion of Julius Espat from the House of Representatives last August and the prior attack on Marisol Amaya during the May seventeenth Senate Special Select Committee meeting. Doctor Zuniga says the Ombudsman must step forward to condemn the police for actions going against their instituted duty “to protect the integrity, people and the democratic institutions of our nation. Also, the institution has been accused of excessive use of force in raids and everyday interactions.”  Doctor Zuniga goes on to state that the Opposition and the press are important in the democratic network of Belize and that our tradition of democracy is envied by many other Latin American countries but which is now in jeopardy if efforts are not taken to keep these institutions intact and strong. Typically, the aggrieved citizen must come forward to make a complaint to the Ombudsman which initiates formal investigation. The Police were the single entity most complained about in successive reports issued by the Ombudsman in the last three years.

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