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Jun 1, 2020

B.D.F. Concludes Investigation into Allegations of Misconduct

The Ministry of National Security has concluded its investigation into allegations of misconduct within the Belize Defense Force and tonight, they are admitting to some wrongdoing and negligence by personnel in the units involved. A press release, however, doesn’t offer any specifics on these findings, only to say that they are being addressed internally by the Belize Defense Force and the Belize Police Department where appropriate. News Five broke those allegations, which include reports of extortion, maltreatment and sexual assault back in January of this year. Since then, an investigation was launched. Tonight, multiple new allegations are coming out of the B.D.F. that a female officer was raped in her room in the last couple weeks. One source says that the timeline of the alleged criminal act and the report is between six to eight weeks. If true, this incident would have happened two months into the internal investigation. The information also suggests that the B.D.F. has decided to deal with the matter internally. But there are some quarters who are not happy about it because according to their regulations, the matter should be forwarded to police immediately.  The female officer was in her room sleeping when a senior officer allegedly entered and raped her. We have reached out the General Steven Ortega to verify the information, but while he has read our message, he hasn’t replied to confirm or deny these reports. We’ll keep following this latest report. But back to the press release at hand. It says that some progress was made in response to the victims of the alleged misconduct and highlights the need for more targeted organizational and strategic changes for progress to continue.  It goes on to say that “the investigation points to some wrongdoing and negligence by personnel within the units involved.” The press release ends by saying that the B.D.F. will continue to stomp out misconduct by holding its members to the highest standards of ethical conduct. In our newscast on Tuesday, we will seek to get a comment from the Ministry of National Security.


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