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Oct 19, 2020

Machetes Wielded, Shots Fire as Political Fanatics Clash in Red Bank

There are twenty-three more days to go before the general elections on November eleventh and emotions are reaching fever pitch among party supporters. On Sunday, in the village of Red Bank in the Stann Creek District, an ugly confrontation took place among supporters of both major political parties, the U.D.P. and the P.U.P.  COVID protocols on the wearing of face masks and social distancing were abandoned and instead machetes were drawn and shots fired as the situation escalated when U.D.P. supporters in a motorcade rode through the village. The sequence of events was all captured on video and made its way on social media.  Today, we spoke to area representative Rodwell Ferguson and standard bearer Ivan Williams on the perilous situation. Here is News Five’s Hipolito Novelo with a report.

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Machetes were drawn and shots fired after political supporters of both major parties clashed on Sunday in Red Bank Village, Stann Creek District.  A motorcade with U.D.P. supporters was passing through the village and words were exchanged between supporters of the U.D.P. and P.U.P.   And the shouting escalated when one of the U.D.P. flags was taken by a P.U.P. supporter.

From there a masked man wielding a machete appeared, threatening to use it. And from inside a red pickup, two armed men, one a police officer, emerge and two shots are fired.

The shouting continued and it got louder.  Others armed themselves with sticks and rocks as the crowd began to swell. The required social distancing was clearly ignored and there were many persons without masks including the officers.

It was a scary situation fueled by alcohol and political tensions. Is this a preview of what we can expect to continue happen as November eleventh draws near?

Area representative for Stann Creek West Rodwell Ferguson and his challenger Ivan Williams of the U.D.P. are hoping that the tensions are quelled.

 

Ivan Williams, U.D.P. Standard Bearer, Stann Creek West

“It was not a motorcade that we were having it was just the campaign vehicles that were traveling together but we usually travel with the flag.”

 

Rodwell Ferguson, Area Rep., Stann Creek West

“Actually it was a motorcade. The things that you see in the video, I believe it is an illegal motorcade because they didn’t have any license. If you see the pictures, what do you call that? A motorcade? I call that a motorcade. So while they were passing a particular home some young men were on the veranda with some PUP shirts. I don’t know who aggravated the issue.”

 

Ivan Williams

“I look like that irritated some P.U.P.s who were also in the village campaigning and then we passed this particular house. Then a group of them gathered and started to follow our vehicle and then attack the last vehicle. It was more than a flag. They actually followed us and attacked us.”

 

Rodwell Ferguson

“Apparently one of the young men took a flag off one of their vehicles. A lady came out of the  vehicle and said, I want it back. And then they charged after the young men in their private property. The trouble ensured and apparently they got back the flag.”

 

Ivan Williams

“Well you know that our people are protective of me and the flag, the party’s flag. They are party people they a wanted to get back their flag and they were asking for their flag back. And then the family started the commotion with the machetes.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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