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Jul 26, 2022

L.I.U. Steps in to Quell Tension in Lake-I Gang Flare Up

Amid the violent flare up between rival groups in Lake Independence over the past forty-eight hours, the Leadership Intervention Unit, led by William Dawson, Doctor Richard Rosado, and Giovanni Brackett, convened a meeting this afternoon here in Belize City. The purpose of the gathering was to quell the rising tension between the P.I.V. and Backalands gangs. Since Sunday night, three persons have been shot in that area, including Darien Banks Senior who was mortally wounded when he was attacked on Ebony Street on Monday evening.  Various individuals involved in the ongoing conflict were called in this afternoon, to thrash out their difference.  Absent from the meeting was Brandon “Battery” Smith, a prominent figure within the neighborhood.  News Five spoke with Dawson at the conclusion of today’s mediation.


William Dawson

William Dawson, Director, Leadership Intervention Unit

“It’s public knowledge that there has been a recent flare up between both groups, but the bigger picture to all of this is that we have been hosting mediations, as you know, for the past eight months between the groups and there has been quite a relative calm between the two groups until an incident happened.  This is the nature of these types of young men in that type of setting, and so what we did was try to bring them together again so that we can find out what the issues are and how we move forward.”


Isani Cayetano

“What was the tone? I gather that this is at the height of tensions between these two groups.  What was the temperature in that meeting today?”


William Dawson

“Well, you know, we didn’t really sense that level of tenseness.  I think most of the parties were reasonable.  Like I said, we’ve been doing sit-downs with these guys and so, as usual, there was an expression between the groups that the flare up really didn’t make sense and that they wanted to get to the bottom of it. I think a couple of the individuals even alluded to the fact that the flare up was unnecessary because one group really did not who actually did the first strike, and so it was an open, fair conversation.  And while people may think that it’s unnecessary or we’re hosting these multiple mediations and sit down with these guys, it’s really necessary because they are allowed that space to flesh out their differences and to come to a point where we look at mitigating further retaliatory shootings from this process, and it’s just very necessary in my book.”


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