Are “missing” Belize City men in the country?
Tonight, we can report that two men believed to have vanished without a trace have been reportedly located, but not in Belize. Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, weighed in on the missing person reports of two Belize City men who are suspected to be members of a gang. They are 29-year-old Christopher Sosa and 21-year-old Jahson Gonguez. And while the country believed that something terrible happened to these two men, Williams says that they fled to the USA. However, the same is not for twenty-seven-year-old Akeem Augustine. Williams says they strongly believe that he was murdered. But in recent weeks a significant number of gang members have left the country for the US.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well in terms of Joshua Gonguez we have received a notification from the US Border Security agent that he had crossed into the US and is in the US and so we know for a fact that he is not dead and his family should know that he is not. Christopher Sosa we had received information that he too may have gone to the US. When it comes to Akeem Augustine we believe that he may have been taken by some friend and may have been killed. So we’re trying to confirm the Sosa one and when it comes to Akeem Augustine we continue to be optimistic that he’s alive, we hope. But again like the family says we have to expect the worst.”
Reporter: Sir, several gang members seem to be migrating to the US is this an issue that has been brought up to your department because we know that currently the Ministry of Immigration is taking seriously the fact that Belize is being used as a transit point but we see now that our own people are trying to get to the US illegally.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Well we have heard of a number of them but when we would be notified that would be when they’re already gone either at Tijuana or already into the US and at that point there’s nothing we can do. If it is a case where they’re wanted and we have arrest warrants for them then we can always liaise with our counterparts in the US via INTERPOL for their return to Belize and while this may be a concerning thing for us I think that it is something the US needs to look at more keenly because what these young men do is when they arrive in the US they would normally go and claim asylum and again you would know that under the US Immigration laws persons who believe that they’re being victimized in their countries for political reasons or their lives are at risk or whatever they use those as a means to be able to claim asylum in the US.”