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2023 Human Rights report: 99 formal complaints made against Police officers

Posted: Monday, April 22, 2024. 3:04 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The U.S. State Department’s 2023 Human Rights Report indicated that whilst the Constitution of Belize prohibits torture and other inhuman punishment, there were credible reports that law enforcement agents employed these.

According to the report, the Professional Standards Branch of the Belize Police Department registered 99 formal complaints against officers of the BPD, representing a 43 percent increase of reports compared with 2022.

The Professional Standards Branch resolved 46 of the complaints, while 38 others were under investigation, and 15 cases awaited trial.

The complaints included allegations of assault, wounding and harm, unlawful arrest and detention, extortion, theft, and preventing the course of justice.

In addition, the Belize Police Department dismissed 10 officers as a result of these complaints, and several other officers were fined or reduced in rank after being found guilty of offenses committed.

 

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