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Feb 3, 2020

Retired B.D.F. Major Calls for Proper Investigation

Oscar Mira

And on the topic of the B.D.F., today we spoke with a former major in the B.D.F. Oscar Mira is retired from the force, but when the news broke, he took to social media to condemn the allegations coming out of the B.D.F.  Today, he told us that he also believes that the investigation should have been handed over to the Belize Police Department and not a team that was put together by the Ministry of National Security.  Mira says that those allegations of abuse are not new and while they should have been addressed a long time ago, decisive action should be taken now to hold the perpetrators accountable.

 

Oscar Mira, Retired B.D.F. Major

“There has always been those allegations and there have been investigations but I wasn’t privy to see what those investigations brought out but like I said in the past there have been instances of fraternization.  We should have started acting on this from a long time ago. We cannot condone these kinds of actions in the B.D.F. because officers are at a higher level of integrity and honesty and all those good things they teach us at school. We should be held to a higher level of standard. I think that since it is out now, we should do everything possible.  I don’t feel that a court of inquiry is enough. A court of inquiry would come up with recommendations and these recommendations are used only to ensure that it doesn’t happen again Any evidence gathered cannot be used in any military proceeding or any disciplinary proceeding against any member of staff found guilty of such. So, I think something else other than a court of inquiry needs to be done. I also read that the Ministry had appointed a team to do investigations. Now, when I look on the composition of that team, I see some senior police officers, a retired police officer and a member of the Ministry of National Security, I believe it is the administrative officer. I do not believe that they have any jurisdiction. I do not believe they have any powers to ensure that the persons who have done these wrongs are charged, first of all, and that that this doesn’t happen again. So, I believe that if the recruits and those members of the BDF who allege and make reports against any member, then if it is a criminal offence, then the police should take up this investigation and bring charges just like anybody else.   We need to start investigating and holding these persons responsible. If for some reason there is an investigation and you are found to have done something wrong, then you should be punished. There is the B.D.F Defence Act and standing operating procedures that we need to adhere to. And there is also the laws of Belize that if it is a criminal act then the Police Department should investigate and then charges should be laid.”


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