Lieutenant Colonel Charlton Roches is one of three men in line to possibly become the next Brigadier General of the Belize Defence Force. There is a hiccup in the entire ascension issue, however, as Roches is allegedly facing victimization within the force. Roches was at the center of a scandal back in late 2017 when it was alleged that he was using his position in the BDF for personal enrichment. The reports were that he had formed a private company, Belize Jungle Experiences, and that he capitalized financially when he was posted as the Liaison Officer for the German Jungle Training in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Roches was taken before a tribunal on four charges, but was only found guilty of two of the charges. The tribunal had recommended that Roches be demoted to the rank of Captain as punishment. The matter, however, had to be forwarded to the Security Services Commission who found the guilty verdict unsubstantiated. Roches was subsequently cleared of the allegations. That was in September 2018; fast forward to January 2021, and the higher powers in the BDF have decided to pursue a criminal investigation into Roches, two years and four months later. Brigadier General Steven Ortega had confirmed to the media last week that the matter is now in the hands of the Police.
Steven Ortega, Brigadier General, Belize Defence Force: “That investigation is still ongoing by the police department so it is an ongoing. We started it and then we realized that it’s best that we hand it over to the police.”
Love News sought permission from the Brigadier General to get an interview with Roches, but that request was denied. Love News understands that there are two basis on the suspicion of victimization including the fact that since the case Roches was relieved of his command over a battalion and has been deemed a regular soldier. The second is the decision to launch a criminal investigation 28 months after he was cleared by the Security Services Commission. Roches has since retained the services of D. Vernon and Company Law Firm. We are following this story.