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Aug 24, 2021

Incarcerated Gangbangers on Two-week Quarantine

Since the state of emergency came into force on August nineteenth, gang members from various parts of the city have been rounded up and incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison.  While they are locked away for the next thirty days, two weeks of their stay will be spent in isolation as they are being quarantined for COVID-19.  The remaining days will be spent in a series of meetings with the Leadership Intervention Unit, a specialized group that is assigned to mediate between the warring factions.  It has become necessary in light of the recent spate of gang-related homicides.  News Five spoke with William Dawson, Director of the Wagner’s Youth Facility.


William Dawson, Director, Wagner’s Youth Facility

“At the prison, I am the person in charge of hosting programs and intervention mediation strategies and implore these strategies to these young men since the first state of emergency when they were ferried to the prison.  So one of the things we are looking at is, right now they are in quarantine and after that fourteen-day quarantine we will meet with them and we’ll see what their mindset is going forward.”


William Dawson


“Sir, I know you wouldn’t be able to give us any of the updated details but how many people have arrived as far as you are aware the prison?”


William Dawson

“Well my last check was like seventeen, I’m sure that the police have captured more young men and so that number has definitely increased, but we’re looking at something like twenty to thirty young men.”


Isani Cayetano

“How do you stage an intervention in a situation where in this particular or recent flare-up, a lot of blood has been shed?  There have been a lot of bodies on all sides of this gang war.”


William Dawson

“Yeah, well obviously the state had to take a stance on those violent affairs that were happening and what was happening is that once we have the young men we get to hear, and we’ve been communicating with them while they were not incarcerated on the outside, we’ve been hosting interventions.  So this is like a continuity.”

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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