There is still much controversy over the incident on Wednesday at the toll bridge at Tower Hill, Orange Walk where the People’s United Party extended their protest and blocked the northern end of the bridge for at least an hour. The incident has stirred much debate over the use of force and tear gas by the police, particularly the Special Patrol Unit personnel. And amid the chaos, several reporters were man handled by the officers including Channel 7’s News Director Jules Vasquez and Krem TV’s News Director Marisol Amaya. The way Amaya was handled by police has once again given the police department a black eye. Today the police department briefed the media. Here’s that story.
Minister of Police, Elodio Aragon: “On Wednesday September 6th a rally was conducted by the People’s United Party in Orange Walk Town which saw the marching from San Lorenzo Road to the Central Park. The parade and the rally proceeded peacefully up until a call was made by the leader of the opposition for the protestors to proceed to the toll bridge and block the highway. They proceeded to the toll bridge to stage an illegal demonstration. Members of the police department were immediately dispatched to the toll bridge in order to dissuade any such event from taking place. Immediately thereafter a group of people led by senior members of the People’s United Party including Servolo Baiza, Honorable Abelardo Mai and the Leader of the Opposition Honorable John Briceno arrived at the toll bridge and proceeded to block the bridge with vehicles and gather at the northern edge of the bridge on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Police reinforcements arrived promptly and took measures to dialogue and to disperse the crowd that was illegally blocking the approach to the bridge and the free flow of traffic. Despite the efforts of the police to get to them to disperse peacefully members of the crowd attempted to resist the efforts of the police. The police eventually cleared both the highway and the bridge with the use of CS Gas. The police apologizes to those members of the public including the members of the press who were out there about their lawful business and were affected by the measures used by the police to restore law and order and to protect the members of the public in general.”