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After only 1 murder all month long, 5 people murdered in 2 days

Murder in Corozal

Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2023. 12:37 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: After a long fallow period with minimal incidents of murder countrywide starting in late August, the last 48 hours have seen five people lose their lives – three in San Pedro and two this morning in Hattieville, Belize District – among other incidents.

While the names of the deceased in Hattieville are not yet confirmed, a father and daughter – Delmar and Amari Rodriguez – and Corozal native Carlos Chi were ambushed not far from home in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town late Sunday night, while four other men were injured, three of whom remain hospitalized.

The estimated number of murders to date nationwide rose as a result from 69 to 75, six murders now being reported this month.

Speaking on Monday, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams tried to assure residents of the Belize District that it will not be a return to the bad old days despite the “hurt” of the San Pedro mass shootings, nor that Belize City will be inflamed as a result: “We pay very keen attention to the murder rate. These three murders in San Pedro put a hurt on us, but like I said we have to do our best to solve it. I will commend the team in Eastern Division under the command of Mr. Romero, Mr. Noble and Mr. Reyes. They have been doing an excellent job in ensuring that our operational objectives are met… I do not anticipate and foresee that we are going to lose Belize City despite those incidents.”

The gang-related murders continue to be suppressed due to the work of the Leadership Intervention Unit (LIU), the Commissioner continued: “I do believe we are working together, the police and other stakeholders including the LIU, to ensure we achieve the objectives and concept of LIU. We continue to do our intervention, the work projects, educational projects, so the entire process of LIU is working. And we do have the good policing effort on the streets but there are times when those efforts fall short of our expectation.”

However, there was a meeting on Monday with members of the Special Patrol Unit (SPU), led by Assistant Superintendent Aaron Gamboa. The Commissioner said he would not spare the elite unit after believing they had slacked off in recent days: “Certainty I will be reading the Riot Act to the SPU. I need to see more coming out of them. That is for sure…We believe that over the past few days we have seen where the SPU have fallen short of that expectation. So, we are going to meet with them … to ensure that they get back on track where we want them to be.”

That failure, the Commissioner added, was not the result of ASP Gamboa’s leadership: “In terms of Mr. Gamboa’s leadership of the SPU, Mr. Gamboa is one of the strongest commanders we have who controls one of our operational units. He tries and it always on the ground with his people, directing them to ensure that what needs to be done is done. But he is only one man. He needs to get support from his supporting team, the person in charge of SPU Belize City. It is not just about him. So, we are going to lend him our support today so that the others can understand we are here to work together and it is only by working together that we will be able to achieve our operational objectives. So, I have every confidence in the job Mr. Gamboa is doing as the commander of SPU.”

 

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