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Sep 13, 2017

Mark Lizarraga Deplores Police “Thugs”, Incivility after O.W. Protest

An indelible stain on the nation’s consciousness was left by protests a week ago tonight in Orange Walk Town against the handling of another complex Ministry – natural resources. There have already been calls for a commission of inquiry into the tenure of Gaspar Vega as minister there, but the greater focus of public ire has been on the mistreatment of protestors and members of the press, particularly Marisol Amaya who was rudely dragged and assaulted without provocation. In addition to his personal note to Amaya, today Senator Lizarraga spoke at length on the importance of a free press and the slippery slope that Belize is falling down in regard to our individual mores and values or lack thereof.

 

Mark Lizarraga

Mark Lizarraga, Senator, Business Community

“We are seeing a line that being is crossed that is dangerous; I think we have to recognize and respect the press as that important leg in our democracy, and they have a sacred right and a sacred obligation in our democracy. And this is not the first time that we’ve seen attacks on the press and on the person of Marisol. I was very disappointed in the way – the lack of professionalism, let’s say that – in the way they handled that crowd. We’ve seen the police confront crowds before in a much more professional manner; I’m not going to get into the legalities of it. We’re reaching a very sad place in our society when we have to resort to that physical violence. You look to the police for leadership; you look to the police for discipline. You don’t expect them to behave like street thugs, and much less against a female person – to best of my knowledge, based on what I’ve seen, wasn’t doing anything to agitate. I could be wrong, I’m only saying based on what I saw; knowing Marisol I’m sure she wouldn’t kill a fly! In all seriousness, we have all messages; we have all different points of view; and our intolerance as a society for differences is becoming increasingly alarming. We continue to attack the messenger – and in this case you were a messenger, just doing your job, trying to report on what was happening. In other cases they attack people who bring messages on behalf of others. And that is not the way it should be. If we have a difference of opinion, we need to learn to be civil; we need to learn to disagree and we need to learn to talk about it and debate about it in this House.”

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