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Jan 30, 2014

Francis Fonseca speaks on the divide between Police Dept., GSU & Office of D.P.P.

Gino Peck

The introduction of the Firearm Act back in June 2008 attracted opposition in many quarters because it was considered draconian. The legislation says that anyone found in a house or establishment where firearms and ammunition are found, regardless if it is unknown to that individual, the person will be charged and placed on mandatory remand at Central Prison. The law makes room for no discretionary measures and should be applied across the board. But there are reported cases of persons who have managed to evade the long arms of the law. But the recent conviction of a veteran cop, Corporal Gino Peck, is showing that the law is not being applied equitably. Another troubling feature for the Leader of the Opposition is that there is a divide between the Gang Suppression Unit, the police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

Francis Fonseca

“I don’t know obviously all the facts of the case, so I can’t comment on anyone’s guilt or lack of guilt. It seems to be a very troubling story and certainly when I listen to the wife and son of Corporal Peck, I was very moved, very touched by their personal pleas on his behalf. But what is troubling to me as the leader of the opposition is that there does seem to be an erosion in the relationship between the police and the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and in any democratic society that is dangerous. And there also seems to be division within the police department itself between the Gang Suppression Unit and the rank and file, if you like, of the police force where they seem to be at odds. And that too is very troubling, it is dangerous and it is a matter that needs to be addressed immediately. The view and perception out there that the law is being applied inequitably is a very serious one. When people feel that laws are not being properly applied, then there is a problem. So we need to look at the law, we need to review the law. As you know, we did not support that law when it was passed; the opposition did not support it in the national assembly. In fact, we spoke out very strongly against the way the law was worded because we felt that it would lead to these inequities and injustices and that is exactly what has proven to be true. So we need to look at the law, we need to review the law, we need to revise the law and we need to deal with this growing perception that there is a serious division within the Belize police department. When you have senior police officers calling in on public talk shows expressing their dissatisfaction with what is taking place; that is very dangerous for democracy.”

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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10 Responses for “Francis Fonseca speaks on the divide between Police Dept., GSU & Office of D.P.P.”

  1. Retired CEO says:

    I am not too knowledgeable about this case and this officer, however it appears somewhat ridiculous that a so-called good cop would be charged for these ridiculous charges brought by the behest of the head of the GSU. There are so many criminals running around scotch free to do whatever they want to do and get away with it, including govt. ministers and some govt. employees/relatives and friends of GOB ministers. While police officers must abide by the law, this certainly does not appear right. Something is wrong with this picture. Especially, when the head of the GSU’s wife is the chief persecutor of the DPP. Apparently, someone was out to get Corporal Pech’s head. Law enforcement is at an all time low in the Jewel? This definitely sounds like a personal vendetta. Where in the world except “Belize” will an apparently honorable officer of the law gets imprisonment for something this ridiculous. Internal division of investigation are the people responsible for this kind of behavior, not the criminal justice system/DPP.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    Francis, I have always criticized you as a weak leader (and you are) but today I applaud you. You need to do this more often. Speak out on the injustice and corruption our beloved country is living on a daily basis.

    Keep hitting at the Dean Da Thief Barrow and his minions. Hitting them, makes them weaker. Keep it up Francis. .

  3. Elgin Msrtinez says:

    There is more to this case i believe it’s something personal that someone in the higher echelon of the Police GSU or DPP has against Gino Peck. It’s a shame how the DPP can go after this officer but can never convict the murderers that are roaming the streets of the Jewel.

  4. oscar965 says:

    If the police..gsu and dpp have issues, that should have no bearing on the fact that a law was broken. All policemen should be held to an even higher standard than ordinary citizens.

  5. Al Rich says:

    Will someone please tell the public why this officer’s house was raided by the GSU. This sounds like a witch hunt to me.

  6. JOHN says:

    the law really isnt fair and to be quite honest its very disturbing that this sort of a situation would come to public view!!!! what were they thinking when this law was passed!?? i mean whats good for the gander is good for the geese so stop allow laws to be applied to some and others not!!! this is total BS

  7. Ali BaBarrow and his band of 40+ says:

    But it looks good against the gangs, and useful to frame people.

    It is a model UDP legislation. A show of strength.

    Plus it is good for employing lawyers.

  8. Al says:

    From a long time ago the Police department and the DPP office have been at odds. I remember a time when the DPP had ordered the arrest of certain “high society” people and the police refused to go ahead with it. Also with the arresting of one of their own.

  9. ceo says:

    Every day of a police’s life he/she deals with the criminal eliment. If they get a cahnce they would seek retribution against the officer who may have arrested them. With that said a police officers and all other members who are charged with keeping the rest of us safe should be exempt from this antiquated law and should be allowed to keep and cary their side arm or long gun as they choose. If they are out and unarmed we would like for them to still respond to a crime they may encounter on the street even though they are off duty.

    With this privilege there should be respnsibilities and they should also be trained to behave like the professionals they should be else face tough consequences.

    I say free the man and change the law to make it make sense to fit the day and age in which we live!

  10. JOHN says:


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