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Apr 4, 2016

B.D.F. Report Calls for O.A.S. and Guatemalan Reaction after Shooting

On Holy Saturday, B.D.F. Staff Sergeant Richard Lambey was shot as he led a patrol to a water source near Valentin Camp in the Chiquibul. After undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, he was released and is recovering at his home in Punta Gorda. But five days after the shooting, a confidential report conducted by the B.D.F. was handed in to C.E.O. in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell. On Friday, News Five obtained a leaked copy of that document which provides previously unreleased information surrounding that shooting, and broke the story of an alleged ambush of Staff Sergeant Lambey by seven Guatemalan men. The report claims that according to Lambey, he identified “three separate groups of men on both sides of the track, each group armed with one firearm resembling a point twenty-two rifle. He indicated that after he was told to stop, the men opened fire directly at him, forcing him to return bursts of fire adding up to thirty rounds being expended.” The report reveals that one day after the shooting another patrol visited the area and found twenty-six five point five-six empty cases belonging to the B.D.F. and one point twenty-two empty case believed to have been used by the armed men who ambushed Lambey, both types of shells about ten meters apart. The armed men are believed to be Guatemalans and according to a government release on the incident, Lambey was shot three times on the hand and abdomen. And then there is a serious concern expressed in the document, which speculates that the ambush could be in retaliation for the arrest of a Guatemalan on March third. That concern is that the water source, the only one in that area which services the Valentin Camp, could be poisoned in further retaliation. The confidential report ends with the request for an O.A.S. verification and a recommendation that Guatemalan Security Forces be “pressured to execute surgical raids in the nearby Guatemalan villages to minimize the number of illegal firearms in the area.” The document is copied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Security Council Secretariat and Belize’s Military Attaché to Guatemala. Since the incident B.D.F. Commander General David Jones and officials from the Ministry of National Security have remained unavailable, and despite multiple attempts at contact today that remained the case. The only information from government is in a brief release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March thirtieth.

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