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Jun 22, 2020

6 Guatemalans Escape from Quarantine Centre

Chester Williams

It has happened again: more persons have managed to escape the COVID-19 quarantine centers. The latest breakout happened in Cayo where the government is using the Victor Galvez Stadium as a quarantine facility. A group of six Guatemalans escaped over the weekend under very questionable circumstances. We say questionable because the padlocks remained intact suggesting that the escapees were aided in their disappearance. The Guatemalans are believed to have crossed the border, into their home country but here in Belize, the recent string of escapes is raising eyebrows within the Ministry. National Security Minister Michael Peyrefitte met with officials this evening to address the very disturbing situation. The belief that the Guatemalans were assisted by persons tasked to keep them in quarantine was enough for Commissioner of Police Chester Williams to give the order for an investigative unit to get to the bottom of how the men managed to smoothly flee the centre. 

 

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“I have tasked Mr. Myvett to put together an investigative team to launch a criminal investigation into that matter and the reason being that upon inspection of the area where these persons escaped there were padlocks on a shutter and obviously there was no breakage. The padlocks were not damaged. From what it appears at this time, keys were used to open those padlocks to facilitate the escape. So we will be looking at that and if it is that we find that anyone aided or facilitated the escape then those persons will be charged criminally. Simultaneously the BDF is also conducting their own investigation as you would know that it is the BDF who man these quarantine centres. And so they are looking at their internal mechanism to see if there was some negligence on the part of those officers who were working at that particular moment and once there is then I am sure they will also bring internal charges against the officers concerned. From what I have been briefed, there is only one person who had keys to the locks that were on the shutters and so our investigation will have to be centred around that person who will have to explain how is it that these individuals were able to escape without having to break any locks to get out of the facility. It is a great concern. We spend countless hours doing patrol around the borders, trying to intercept those who put at risk the lives of all our Belizeans and they are caught and placed into these quarantine facilities only to see that they escape. It is not what we intended and I can tell you that our minister as well is pretty much concerned. As a matter of fact we are having a meeting to discuss that issue because it needs to stop. There are too much reports of escape and it is surely defeating the purpose for the quarantine.”


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