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Nov 30, 2020

Tensions Flare Up Between Residents and B.D.F. in San Vicente

There was an uproar in the southern community of San Vicente on Sunday night where residents faced off with Belize Defense Force soldiers.  The men who are assigned to the village observed a group of six boys playing football at a nearby field.  As it stands, participating in any contact sport is prohibited under an existing statutory instrument.  This is in respect of measures being taken in the fight against COVID-19.  The B.D.F. soldiers, however, went a step further and confiscated the football and when the chairperson approached them to retrieve the ball there was an altercation.  Other villagers came out in support of their leader and police had to be called in to quell the tension.  Earlier today, News Five spoke by phone with Juan Ca’al who relayed what transpired in the Toledo District.


On the Phone: Juan Ca’al, Spokesperson

“What really happened is that, according to what the chairman is describing, along with the alcalde, to me is that there was a football game going on in the field at San Vicente.  According to the chairman, it was about six young individuals doing some exercise, playing football and I believe, according to the chairman, these B.D.F. soldiers approached these young individuals to disperse the crowd and of course you know that it’s against the COVID-19 regulations.  Having noticed that the approach was a little bit tense on the part of the B.D.F. to the young people, the chairman went and approached the B.D.F. in the community center after that scenario happened.  But when the chairman went and inquired from the soldiers what was going on asking, you know, why they took away the ball and if they could return the ball back to the young people.  You know, it’s good that they are dispersed but if they can return the ball because there was no need for them to take away the ball.  That conversation seemed to have gotten a little bit tense on the part of the B.D.F. because the chairman said that he noted they were under the influence of liquor.  So what the chairman did was approached them and inquired why is it that they are on duty and they are in uniform and under the influence of liquor discharging their duty.  So, you know, that was what the chairman, I believe that was what he said he told the B.D.F. and when they responded, they responded in high tone and to the point where they physically assaulted the chairman within the community center.”

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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