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Apr 6, 2022

B.D.F. Has Zero-Tolerance Police for Brutality against Civilians

Lt. Col. Brandon Garcia

It is not often that we hear of or report on brutality at the hands of B.D.F. soldiers. The last known incident of brutality for which soldiers were involved was back in 2018 when Ariel Audinette Salazar was killed following a beat down by eight lawmen, including a police officer and seven soldiers, also in Orange Walk.     Today, the Acting Deputy Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Lieutenant Colonel Brandon Garcia during a zoom interview with the media gave his reaction to the chilling video in which Estevan Baeza was beaten to death at the hands of Private Raheem Williams. Garcia says that the B.D.F. has no tolerance for any brutality against civilians.

 

Lt. Col. Brandon Garcia, Acting Deputy Commander, Belize Defense Force

“When we saw that video, it is an indication of what commander Belize Defense Force doesn’t tolerate. We have a zero-tolerance policy for any brutality against civilians, etc. We ensure that members of this prestigious organization treat people with respect, treat people humanely and basically follow the law of the land. We are not above the law in any way.”

 

Reporter

“I know we don’t hear about B.D.F. brutality every day or maybe it goes unreported, who knows. But has this incident led yourself and the commander to look deeper within the B.D.F. to see if they have this habit of taking advantage of people or maybe counseling them or just looking deeper into the B.D.F. to see if this is a habit?”

 

Lt. Col. Brandon Garcia

“I mentioned earlier that we are conducting several studies, but it is not something that is habitual. The soldiers are usually briefed to act professional or to behave professional in any working environment. This also allows, we tend to look at ways how we can improve and if I had the cure for human nature, I would administer that forthwith.  But we can only base on the dynamic and fluid environment that members of the force operate in; things can change in an instant. So to mitigate that, all we can do is to offer the various support that was mentioned earlier.”

 

Private Raheem Williams was properly vetted before he was accepted into the B.D.F. Lieutenant Colonel Garcia also confirmed that he has not exhibited any violent tendencies until this incident.

 


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