Belize Carnival Association Apologizes for Violence During Carnival Road March
The Belize Carnival Association has publicly apologized to carnival attendees who were injured during the brawl that erupted on Baymen Avenue during the Carnival Road March over the weekend. As the carnival approached its end, a massive street fight broke out and brawlers were seen throwing pint bottles with complete disregard for who might have been hit. Carnival Association President Patrick Thompson said that the association condemns all acts of violence as it takes away from the national unity that should come with September Celebrations. He also called on the Belize Police Department for greater vigilance next year.
Patrick Thompson, President, Belize Carnival Association: “We did not expect that. We don’t want that to happen Carnival day because we want everybody to come out, enjoy themselves, enjoy the show that these bands are putting to them. So I must say again it has to be whereby the authority needs to deal with these individuals because the minute a brawl begins police are on the scene. Police are walking the entire route so we just ask the police to be more vigilant with these guys and if you have to arrest these guys and thing then we gotta do it because we don’t want these guys to be holding the entire public at ransom or hostage. We are out there to enjoy ourselves why can’t we all enjoy yourselves and enjoy the festivity ? Because September celebrations is a time for us to unite. You know it’s like the theme right ? Hope Ignited , Hands United, Vision Renewed Belize at 42. We need to unite as one and stop with this fussing and fighting against each other and hurting innocent people. And on that note I would just like to say we are sorry for those who got injured in the cross fire of the bottles and so forth. It was not something that we at the association condone you know. We don’t condone anything of that nature because we have to look at the safety of our revelers and of course the safety of the bystanders but like I said we just would like for the police department to be more vigilant and deal with these individuals who are disrupting the flow of enjoyment.”
Thompson also directly addressed concerns raised by Titans Mas Band, about the impact that the route had on the security of their revelers. Thompson said he understands some of the band’s revelers were touched inappropriately by bystanders, which the association does not condone. Thompson agreed that Baymen Avenue is not the optimal route for the road march.
Patrick Thompson, President, Belize Carnival Association: “I understand Titans and I must say all this is because of the route. To start with the Baymen Avenue honestly is not a nice route for Carnival day because for one the Baymen Avenue is very narrow and with the crowd you know the crowd will flock the Baymen Avenue because this crowd that is at Baymen Avenue is the crowd that would normally have been on Princess Margaret Drive beginning from Nazarene High School up to UWI but we have to understand that UWI is a wider space but I must say a big apology to those revelers who were touched inappropriately on behalf of the association but at the end of the day the police department honestly Im not bashing the police department but we just need for them to be more vigilant come on carnival day to help us the association to try and keep this bystanders away from the revelers as well as as the bands need to work with us as well with their marshals so that we can have enough people who are the police of the carnival to get these bystanders not to go and interfere with the revelers hence the reason we had asked the bands to rope off their bands.”
Thompson added that the Association will be meeting later this year, to consider suggestions made by members of the public on making the carnival a safer and more enjoyable experience next year.