As we told you earlier, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press where he addressed the situation that has captured national attention and has once more placed the Police Department’s Gang Suppression Unit in the forefront and not for very constructive reasons. According to the PM, he met this morning with the Belize Police Department officials to find out for himself what the Gang Suppression Unit was doing heading a raid on a weed plantation on Sunday.
Rt.Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
“One of the purposes of the meeting had been for me to find out from the department exactly what the mission of the GSU is and whether protocols, best practices protocols were still in place. I certainly know that at the time the GSU was formed way back when there was kind of manual by which they were expected to operate and I certainly thought it important to find out whether that manual was still in place, whether there had been any refresh of that manual. I wanted for there to be a review of the mission purpose and operational remit of the Gang Suppression Unit and we still to some extent went through that even after it was confirmed to us that Kelvin was safe. Reason for this is that while there are very many among us who are cynics by default the willingness to believe the worst of the GSU did not arise just like that. For some time now the lamentations about the manner in which the GSU operates have been loud and long and the events proved that the divide between the citizenry and the GSU is altogether too much for us to ignore. There is therefore going to be at the very least a repurposing of the GSU the kind of serious analysis that the circumstances warrant will be conducted and at the end of that exercise all options will be on the table. Certainly I needed to know right off why the Gang Suppression Unit was involved in this mission to deal with presumed drug traffickers operating in a marijuana field. We know that gangs in fact do trade in drugs but it struck me that I would not have thought that to be the express remit of the Gang Suppression Unit. I was given an explanation and it’s pretty much satisfactory but I say all this merely to underline the concern that at my level and at the level of cabinet the concern that is present that we should in fact now engage in this review process with respect to the GSU.”