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Mar 20, 2020

Alleged Gang Members Imprisoned

As the crackdown of suspected gang members continues, police today hoarded away a first group of affiliates.  The men were picked up at different times and places and kept in the custody of the police.  This morning, they were carted away to the Belize Central Prison where they will remain for thirty days, including the Easter holidays.  Family and friends were at the Queen Street Police Station when they were taken away.  The sweep is a direct response to the bloodbath that took many lives at the start of the week. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

This was the scene in front of the Queen Street Police Station: heavily armed law enforcement officers- disgruntled family members and dozens of accused gang members.  Inside the holding cells were Belize City men who police say are gang members. Their detention is part of the police department’s plan to address the increase of gun violence that has claimed several lives in the Old Capital.  A state of emergency has been declared in Southside Belize City where these men lived but for the next thirty days their home will be the Belize Central Prison. Outside the Queen Street Police compound, angry relatives, mostly women gathered- angry that their brothers, spouses, nephews had been dragged out of their home to be sent to prison. One by one the men exited the holding cell and unto the bus they got.  It was frenzy when the bus left as the accused gangsters, in some way, said their goodbyes.

 

Family Member

“Find the five-year-old, baby killer. That is what we want to see. No sit down and chance the boys them.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Miss, who did they take from you?”

 

Family Member

“My brother.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you know why they took him?”

 

Family Member

*Nods Head*

 

Hipolito Novelo

“How do you feel about the situation?”

 

Family Member

“It’s lone (bleep) they do.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Did they allow you to take him clothes or food?”

 

Family Member

“No nothing.”

 

Voice of: Family Member

“I think what they are doing wrong because at the end of the day my boy went and my boy got shot last September. By boy cannot even walk right now and he went up. My boy is my provider. Who will provider for ourselves now? They just took food out of my people’s mouth. That is ridiculous.  They picked up him Monday. They let him go Wednesday and they came back for him yesterday in George Street. They came for him  from five in the morning.  It is ridiculous. What they did those boys is wrong. Plus the sickness is around. My boy was to provide for me and my peoples. My son was to buy little things. I am not saying that I depend on my boy for everything but at the end of the day that is my man, same way. He help me and my peoples.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Were you able to speak with him, give him food or clothes?”

 

Voice of: Family Member

“Just now they did not want to take any clothes, no food. Only certain people got their things. Not all of us.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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