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Jul 22, 2020

Chester Williams Vex with GSU, Says He Would Have Never Sent Unit at Protestors

Chester Williams

The violence at the Port turned out to be a thorn for the government. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams late this evening called an emergency press briefing to address the ugly police response to protestors at the Port of Belize. Like the Attorney General, Williams says he will get to the bottom of the shooting.  Both Williams and Peyrefitte say they do not know who deployed the GSU nor who gave the instructions to them. As you saw, the Gang Suppression responded to protestors at the PBL compound. This is after the management decided to shut down operations for the day, asking police officers to remove all protestors from the compound.  But the protestors stood their ground after CWU President Evan ‘Mose’ Hyde assured Police Commissioner Chester Williams that the protestors will remain peaceful.  According to the commissioner, his instructions were that the protestors would be allowed to express their discontent peacefully, but as you saw, chaos erupted as GSU officers arrived. Williams said that he would have never sent a paramilitary unit to deal with an agitated crowd.


Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police 

“Eventually I was briefed that Port had ceased operations for the day and everybody was sent home but stevedores and employees were still in the area dissenting and so the Port of Belize wanted the police to move the people off the compound. And so I said to the commander of Eastern Division my position is that once these people are on the compound and they are peaceful then let us allow them to express themselves peacefully. They will not stay there all there. They have to leave to go home. After I gave that directive to the commander I also communicated with Mister Hyde who is the president of the CWU and I told him we were going to allow them to remain on the grounds provided that they remain peaceful. He gave his assurance that they were not about trouble, that they were going to be peaceful. A few minutes later, I got a call that shots were being fired at the Port of Belize Limited and that GSI were deployed to the area. Now for me that was a total wrong move. When we have people who are agitated especially people who know that they are in the process of losing their livelihoods we would expect that the police would do the utmost best to ensure that whatever we do will not be such that would cause more agitation. So in a situation as volatile as what was happening at Port; I would never make a decision to deploy a paramilitary unit in the area.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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