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Jan 9, 2019

ComPol and Police Minister Question Whistle-blower’s Credibility

Vicente Martinez, the whistleblower, held a lengthy press conference on Tuesday calling out names of high ranking police officers he claims are involved with drug cartels that have been landing planes in Belizean territory. Martinez has promised evidence, but that has been hard to come by though he can be credited with verifiable intel on plane landings in the north and south. Today, the new ComPol, Chester Williams and the Minister of State of Police, Elodio Aragon, were asked to respond to the allegations. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Vincent Edward Martinez has taken a bold step to come forward with allegations against senior police officers whom he claims are involved in transnational drug trafficking activities.  The whistle-blower called a press conference on Tuesday during which he confidently made assertions that a number of high ranking policemen continue to facilitate the movement of narcotics through the country.  We are constrained from calling their names because Martinez is yet to provide factual evidence that would incriminate any of the persons he has identified.  Nonetheless, we sought a reaction from Commissioner of Police Chester Williams on what has been divulged in the media.

 

Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“If it is that he has any evidence against senior officers in police then present the evidence to me and then well see where we go from there.  In the absence of that then there is nothing I can do.”

 

It is a similar position taken by Minister of State Elodio Aragon Jr., who oversees the day-to-day operations of the Belize Police Department.  Himself a former Deputy Commissioner, Aragon openly questions Martinez’s integrity.

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of State, National Security

“Well anybody can make allegations, right.  It is about having credible information.  The police only acts on information that is there, and remember these things are investigations, when you are dealing with drug trafficking et cetera theres a lot of things that have to be done in terms of ensuring that the investigation that you carry out is proper and credible.”

 

But while Martinez has called out these officers by name, none of whom we have been able to identify publicly, for want of actual evidence against them, he says that he is simply awaiting a rebuttal from the department to proceed with disclosing proof.

 

Edward Vincent Martinez

Edward Vincent Martinez, Whistle-blower

“I want to give them a fair chance to respond to my allegations and then I will return with what I have because at the end of the day I am no bully, I am not here to bully anybody into anything, you understand me.  After a man accuses you, wait for the response.  I am old school, you know, you understand me.  After the response, I am inviting anybody from the ministry or from the police department to sit in the next press conference.  I prefer throw stones at somebody direct.”

 

According to the whistle-blower, he already has in place a backup plan in the event that something should happen to him for coming forward with the damning allegations.

 

Edward Vincent Martinez

“I dont do nothing without a contingency plan you know.  The minute I walk out there and a stray way shot ketch me or yoh hay Oh, ih mi deh eena di wrong place at the wrong time and dehn had a shootout and man di poor man get it.  Dehn betta know something, if di poor man get it, I have people that will disseminate everything out there because me noh wahn dead just fi no accusation.  If yoh wahn kill me, somebody gwein down wid me.  I wahn damage somebody life somewhere eena di process. That is being real.”

 

Reporter

“You’re prepared to die for this?”

 

Edward Vincent Martinez

“No.  Listen to me, I am not saying I am prepared to die, you know, because nobody is prepared to die.  Lets be real.  But if it reaches to that point where what I am saying or what I am doing, the repercussions of it, that somebody wahn tek wahn stray way shot atta me, ah wahn tek da chance.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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