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Jul 24, 2020

Outline of Preliminary Investigation into GSU

Dezerie Philips-Magdaleno

So, what has the preliminary investigation revealed about what happened at the Port of Belize compound on Wednesday? Deputy Commissioner of Police Dezerie Philips-Magdaleno shares the sequence of events that happened, which ultimately led to the GSU confronting workers of the Port of Belize and injuring several persons. In a nutshell, there appears to have been a breakdown in communication, among other things. Here’s the timeline from Deputy ComPol Magdaleno.


Dezerie Philips-Magdaleno, Deputy Commissioner of Police

“Sometime around midday or little after midday on Wednesday, Commissioner of Police gave directive to Eastern Division Regional Commander ACP Alden Dawson and that directive was clear and specific to say that the persons gathered on the compound protesting must be allowed to remain on the compound as long as they remained peaceful. That directive, as is expected as is protocol, must be complied with. However, the investigation revealed that Mr. Dawson failed to transmit that directive to the ground commander at the Port of Belize. That ground commander was senior superintendent Daniel Arzu, so he had no idea of that directive given to the Commissioner to Mr. Dawson. Just prior to that directive given by the commissioner, assistance was required by the GSU for support to relieve some of the uniform officers that were deployed out there for them to have their refreshment break. But they were deployed with specific instructions that they were not to be deployed with any kind of riot gears – that was done. Subsequent to that the commander for GSU arrived at the compound to do an assessment of the situation, bearing in mind his personnel were deployed out there on the request for assistance. So, he did his assessment on the grounds. He communicated with the ground commander Senior Superintendent Daniel Arzu. The directive given to the commander for GSU Mr. Lorenzo is that the crowd gathered there needed to be removed. So, Mr. Lorenzo inquired whether the persons gathered had been spoken to and that was communicated that yes they had been spoken to. So, Mr. Arzu once more went and spoke to the persons gathered and shortly after doing so he communicated with Mr. Lorenzo and he gave the directive or the order to have the persons gathered be removed and that was when the GSU was engaged.”

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