The shooting murder of Daniel ‘Danny’ Conorquie made national headlines and infuriated Belizeans last year as it is speculated to have been done at the hands of Guatemalan who were in Belize illegally. Conorquie met his death whilst on duty as a Special Constable at the Caracol Archaeology Reserve. Since then the Government of Belize has been enhancing security measures in the area with the highlight occurring today where the Caracol Conservation Post was officially inaugurated.
“The Ministry of National Security is happy to be a part of this collaborative effort that will see us provide more security for the Caracol site, it’s visitors and staff and employees. It is timely and perhaps certainly a little too late in terms of what the Minister had said earlier about the death of Danny Conorquie but it is a step in the right direction to protect those that now come to this facility and I am happy that my Ministry and the BDF and the Police Department, that is also a part of this effort, were able to be partners in this conservation post.”
“While today is indeed an extremely momentous occasion it would be remiss of us not to reflect on the exemplary work and contribution of our Armed Forces, the Tourism Police Unit, the Institute of Archaeology and other key partners that assist in safe guarding our national patrimony and sovereignty. While saying this, it is very difficult to not mention the unfortunate loss of one of our own tourism police special constable Danny Conorquie last year. Over the last year the government of Belize through my Ministry has worked to put in place improved security measures at all of our archaeological reserves and in particular here at Caracol. In addition, in order to address the security concerns within the wider Chiquibul complex, the government in 2014 granted additional financial support to assist in all overall management.”
DR. JOHN MORRIS, DIRECTOR OF ARCHAEOLOGY
“The Belize Defense force has a place where they can call a home and they don’t have to be living in the bush which is what people think the BDF should do but they are humans just like us and they need good quarters and we are proud to present these quarters to the Belize Defense Force for their use. We also refurbished the area for the tourism police and the police here at Caracol which is on the other side of the road here and they are comfortable now and I think because they are comfortable they are going to do a much better job in helping us protect and preserve our cultural and natural resources that we have out here at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. So to the members of the armed forces I say this is yours, make use of it and help us protect what is rightfully ours.”
LT. COL. LOUIS SUTHERLAND
“So, we forecast the amount of personnel and the amount of soldiers that would be used to man this, so, it shouldn’t be a problem because currently we have enough man power to provide three proper rotations.”
“In each rotation, how many soldiers at one time?”
“At any one point we will have 12 soldiers and these twelve soldiers will be complemented with four personnel from the special patrol of the police department as well as one person from the tourism police unit. This CP, it will enhance our operational capability, it will provide, as the minister stated, comfort to the soldier and I use the word comfort very cautiously because not too comforted to be relaxed. The physical structure the building will provide protection from the elements, it will give the solider the environment to have adequate rest, we all can appreciate. If you don’t have enough rest and you don’t get enough rest you will be unable to perform effectively. So certainly this building we received earlier it will enhance our operational capability it will provide an atmosphere for the soldiers, an environment that they can rest and in so doing they will be able to react much better as we have done in the past.”
“In terms of the conservation post, yes, certainly, the CPs, once they are put in strategic locations then it means that there is a more pronounced presence and thus a deterrent on any illegal activities that will be taking place. So, of course these CPs actually play a very important role in terms of the Chiquibul forest.”
The conservation post was done at a cost to the government of an estimated one hundred thousand dollars.