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Apr 23, 2012

80 more cops on streets, but is gang truce on life support?

The press conference had just started when shots rang out again in the city on Freetown Road. Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, however, blamed the social media for exaggerating the crime situation and outlined what the government is doing in response to the crime wave. News Five’ Jose Sanchez also has this story.

 

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

B.D.F. General Dario Tapia, Acting Commissioner of Police David Henderson, C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell, Mesop Area Rep. Michael Finnegan, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Boots Martinez, Mark King  and the man in charge of the National Security Ministry, John Saldivar, were at the head table at this morning’s press conference. Saldivar scolded the Facebook gangsters who increased the weekend murder count.

 

John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“The reports especially in the social media of a bloody retaliation which rumored up to a dozen dead and more to come was thankfully just idle or malicious exaggeration. These reckless rumors, however, and the real anticipation of retaliation did put our entire nation on edge for almost seventy-two hours. The truce alone does not guarantee public safety. And as a result, a conscious decision was taken by the ministry to enhance the police’s efforts on the streets of the city. An increased number of security forces were deployed resulting in increased visible presence since the eighteenth of April in and around all known hotspots. This obviously did not deter the senseless string of violence which occurred over this weekend. The recent gang rivalry activities between George St. and Taylor’s Alley started with death of Orlando Reyes on the afternoon of twentieth April around three-thirty p.m. This was followed with the double murder of Shelton August Tillett, aka Pinky and Kamille Andrews approximately eight hours later at the Esso Gas Station at Mile two and a half on the northern highway. About fourteen hours later, another murder occurred on Allen Pitts Crescent on the twenty-first April 2012 where Peter Flowers was shot and killed. And on the twenty-second April, Mister Larry Sutherland was shot in the stomach and he remains in the K.H.M.H. in a critical condition. There have also been reports of random shots fired but what I have detailed above is the extent of the casualties related to this weekend’s spate of violence in the city.”

 

Since Friday, there have been four recorded murders in the city, one person was killed by the police and oen person was killed in the capital over the weekend.

 

John Saldivar

“Starting yesterday, Sunday twenty-second April 2012, the Belize Police Department supported by B.D.F. commenced the deployment of troops and police which will see at its height the number of officers on streets of Belize City increased by close to eighty. This is allowing in greater numbers to effectively contain, interdict and dismantle all factions that are not participating in the truce and are involved in these criminal activities. These operations are done to ensure that violence and crime are reduced and that the truce returned back to its November 2011 status. The concept of this operation is to contain the level of violence in Belize City by increasing the presence of security forces. This will be done by effectively patrolling by means of foot, ATV, motorcycles and vehicles and targeting of special areas and persons of interest. I have no doubt in my mind that our efforts—both from a policing perspective and from the dialogue and intervention perspective—will yield the desired effect in a very short time.”

 

But even with eighty additional boots on the ground, another person was shot. During the Minister’s speech, forty year old Corrington Bowden was shot in the head near a boutique on Freetown Road.

 

Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, Police Press Officer

“I don’t have full details. I know that Corrington Bowden was shot a little after ten o’clock this morning on Freetown Road—this is almost with the junction of Victoria Street and Barrack Road. The bullet entered one side of his head and exited the other side. He is listed in critical condition at the K.H.M.H.”

 

Jose Sanchez

Fitzroy Yearwood

“You don’t know if he has any affiliation at this point with any gang?”

 

Insp. Fitzroy Yearwood

“Well Jose, as soon as I get back to the office I will be able to comment on t hat. But for now that’s all I have about that incident.”

 

John Saldivar

“We are facing a very challenging time in our nation right now with gang related activities, homicides and other criminal activities in the streets of Belize City. Corruption in the police department seemed to add to the already volatile situation that makes our job even more challenging. I am confident that we can and will bring things back to normalcy not only in Belize City but across this country.”

 

With fourteen murders in fifteen days, and a person shot in the face, this morning on Freetown Road, there must be an improved plan to keep citizens safe. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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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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7 Responses for “80 more cops on streets, but is gang truce on life support?”

  1. Mr Mayor says:

    80 more cops !!!!!
    Why does Corozal only have 7 cops per shift with 3 of them directing traffic at the free zone casinos?
    We need more cops in Corozal. People are being shot on the streets, business being held up at gunpoint, burglaries, drug dealers roaming free.
    MORE POLICE FOR COROZAL TOWN PLEASE, SO WE CAN SLEEP AND LIVE IN PEACE.

  2. R.I.O.T says:

    WHAT DO THEY TAKE US FOR???? THE GANG TRUCE IS NOT WORKING LETS BE REAL THE GANGS IS NOW EXTORTING TAX PAYERS MONEY AND SOME GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL ARE CERTAINLY USING THIS AVENUE TO FULL THEIR PACKETS. THIS CONCLUSION WAS MADE BASE ON THE FIGURES SPENT OVER THREE MONTHS TO KEEP THE TRUCE.

    VALUE FOR MONEY SAYS THE MINISTER BIG JOKE MR. MINISTER IF THE MONEY IS PROPERLY INVESTED FROM THE GET GO INTO OUR PEOPLE WE WILL NOT HAVE TO WASTE IT IN TRYING TO CONTAIN A SITUATION THAT WE COULD HAVE AVOID.

    LASTLY, I AGREE THAT WE NEED MORE POLICE IN COROZAL AND ALL DISTRICT. LETS BE PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE………BELIZE

  3. rasman says:

    Please send the BDF along the border to protect and defend our territorial soveriegnty. Stop waste my money pan dem outlaws, collect all of them and send them to an island by themselves and give them M16 and lots of bullets and let them have it all.

  4. Jade says:

    In regards to this press release/gang truce/gang leader crap, i believe that the GOB is making a big deal for nothing! What the PM/GOB should focus on cleaning the streets of criminals instead; of sitting down and negotiating and begging these so-call-wanna-be-gangs to stop the senseless killings..YES!! WANNA-BE GANGS, because that is what they are. They can’t compare to gangs in other countries and here in little Belize THEY CAN BE CONTROL instead of having GOB make a truce with them. Gangs are illegal in this country and YUH WAN TELL ME DAT DI PM/GOB WAN SIT AND NEGOTIATE? YET the GOB couldn’t meet with the cane farmers, citrus farmers, and other entities that are the actual building block of our nation!! YET!!!! they will negotiate with criminals on a one to one basis!!! CORRUPTION, MAN!! It seems that the criminals have the power to hold the GOB at ransom. It seems that GOB is condoning criminal activity! what GOB needs to do is stop negotiating and putting on a PRESS RELEASE PUPPET SHOW and MINISTERS/GOB stop intervening when the police do their work. Because that is the problem BELIZE is facing, too much politics intervening when the police do their job thus condoning criminals in their BULL$4#*…SEPARATE BUSINESS FROM PLEASURE (WORK FROM FRIENDS) What GOB needs to do is focus on being firm and enforcing the laws and prosecuting all criminals as it should be!!!

  5. Califas says:

    Lol @ 80 more cops seriously. Look if you place those cops at the gangs turf for we all know where they are maybe just maybe there might be a reduction of drug trafficking,robberies and murders but if the 80 cops are patrolling Albert Street,Princess Margaret Drive and Ramada then it makes no sense to have all this Power. Try 250 more cops and watch a difference in the city..nuff said

  6. Proud-bzean says:

    Jade,

    I agree with your comment.

    We need to encourage the citrus farmers, cane farmers and other business entities to form gangs and participate in the truces. That will ensure that they be heard and included.

  7. EASY GLENN says:

    Ha ha ha unu funny how many how many got cane and how many got gun 70 with cane 10 with gun and neva use it before and the bwiaa got ak 47,m16, 45,9mill,uzzi,mossberg guage,grenades,and even the launcha bwiaaaa unu think we fool fool BAd bwiaa look yeh stop unu r–

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