By Aaron Humes: The events surrounding the death of Jesse Escobar a week ago Sunday are troubling to say the least for the Human Rights Commission of Belize (HRCB).
They reveal a “continued inability of law enforcement officers to exercise restraint, minimize injury, and preserve human life in the line of duty,” as mentioned in a statement, made worse by the amateurish cover-up initially tried by those involved which was blown to smithereens by the revelation of the surveillance footage. No wonder it is, says the Commission, “the public perception of repeated, unwarranted violence on the part of law enforcement officials against civilians.”
Referring to the bonfires last week in Santa Familia, the Commission warns against retaliation in kind and urges counseling for Escobar’s remaining family.
Most importantly, the Commission calls on law enforcement agencies, and on the government, to take a longer, more determined look at reforming the culture of policing in Belize. Also, closer attention must be placed on whether or not there is the need for military might as it relates to most domestic enforcement scenarios.