Last year the biggest prison break happened with twenty-eight prisoners breaking free from the Belize Central Prison. All escapees have been recaptured and now adjustments in prison protocols have been made to prevent it from reoccurring. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Kolbe Foundation, Virgilio Murillo noted that last year’s prison break which was the largest in history was caused mainly by prisoners who he says “are just bad eggs”.
Virgilio Murillo, CEO, Kolbe Foundation: “I will not get into the details of what we have done differently since then but suffice me to tell you that we have done things differently since then but aside from that I will tell you I have no problem going into the yard by myself this is a routine for me. As a matter of fact I think you saw the relationship between me and the inmates, everybody really wants to see me to tell me some story and that is just the norm. I will insist that the handful of prisoners that tried to give trouble last year are simply bad eggs and I think they felt like they were going to have their way they way they have it out in the society that landed them in this prison anyway and that doesn’t fly. Prisons are all about order and discipline let’s make no mistake about it and we will maintain order and we will maintain discipline at all times. Like I said earlier prison is a deterrent the purpose of imprisonment is to protect society first and foremost and to rehabilitate the offender and we’re going to do that but you have to apply a lot of dynamics around this place here. But I have no difficulty, the majority of the prison population I will tell you over ten hundred of them are certainly prisoners who made mistakes and they are here to try to get their life back together more than anything else can they appreciate the programs that are being offered, they appreciate the treatment they get from the prison guards, there’s a very respectful and responsible relationship shared between guards and prisoners in this prison and I think you saw that just a while ago because you know there were prisoners mixing up with guards just a while ago. You will never see these things happen in other prisons around the world there’s always that separation, that social distance if you want to call it that, between guards and prisoners in other prisons in other parts of the world.”
The brazen escaped occurred on October 12 last year, just hours before the prison was scheduled to enter a total lockdown in response to a COVID-19 outbreak.