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Police fight fires caused by gang rivalries with intervention sessions

Posted: Wednesday, May 3, 2023. 10:30 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: As we previously reported, the Police Department and its support personnel have had to move quickly to cool simmering tensions within neighbourhoods in Belize City.

While there was only one murder in Belize City over the holiday weekend, there have been multiple shooting incidents dating back to after the Easter weekend involving various hotspots. On Thursday, while top cops Chester Williams and Richard Rosado were at the unveiling of a peace mural in the Majestic Alley area, Shamar Cabral, an out-of-towner visiting family and friends, was murdered for his motorcycle, while later that night Sylvain Swift was shot dead on Antelope Street.

Referring to the murders of Swift and Adrian Pook, the Commissioner said they have been able to avoid retaliation thanks to “good results” from mediation.

On Monday, the Commissioner described a session to resolve internal tensions in one of the oldest and most feared entities in the City, the George Street Gang: “We just came out of an intervention session with the group from George Street and again, the George Street issue is more like a domestic situation because it‘s like an intra-rivalry between those elements. And when you do have intra-rivalries, it is often more difficult to contain because they all know each other’s movements, whereabouts, and everything, and so it is much easier for them to find their rivals as opposed to when you have cross-gang incidents.”

The Commissioner left after briefing the press to attend another intervention session with individuals from the Police Street/Ordonez Avenue Zone as well as to meet with Jervis “Diamond” Valencia, shot three weeks ago in the territory of the Mayflower/Banak Street group.

Before he did, he reminded that those actively trying to break the peace, who he described as “taunters,” will be dealt with: “I have said to the GI3 [Gang Intelligence, Investigation, and Interdiction Unit] that there are some elements that we must bring charges against for being members of gangs and put them out of circulation because while we do have those elements who are behaving and trying to change, we have some that are just taunting them and when we have that, we must do what needs to be done to put away the “taunters” with a view to ensure that the program’s objectives are achieved.”

 

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