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Commissioner of Police: ‘Department stretched thin due to gang rivalries’

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Posted: Friday, May 21, 2021. 7:40 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said today that the Belize Police Department is doing the best it can to curb the recent spike in gang violence in Belize City, but that containing the situation is challenging because multiple gangs are feuding at once.

Williams said that, following the murder of Marquin Drury on Santa Barbara Street Wednesday night, police maintained a heavy presence in and around the area in anticipation of retaliatory violence. He notes that, due to intense operations in the area, criminal elements left the zone and went down to Fabers Road, where they shot and killed 19-year-old Stephan Castillo.

“It is indeed a challenge because as you know we are really stretched in terms of human resources. We still have to maintain a heavy presence in downtown Belize City between Taylor’s Alley and George Street because the tensions still exist. So with that area, we also have the Banak area, because of the fact that Banak and Mayflower continue to go at war with each other. So again in that area, we have to maintain a strong presence.”

He said that police are now faced with escalating violence in the St.Martin’s area of Lake Independence, which he notes is twice the size of George Street and Taylor’s Alley combined.

“We are doing what we can to be able to police the area with the resources that we do have,” Williams continued. “What we did since yesterday was to detain a number of the players who are involved and who we believe may get involved,” Williams said.

He made a sincere plea to the mothers of those who are gang-affiliated, asking them to talk to their children to help end the violence.

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