Late last week, one hundred and thirty seven men who were detained under the State of Emergency and remanded to the Belize Central Prison were released following the expiration of their thirty day stay. Their freedom did not come easy, however, as ultimatums were placed on these alleged gang members. For instance, all gangs must keep the peace and turn in all their weapons. As of Friday, Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, stated that they had received twenty seven guns and they were waiting to receive more. Today, COMPOL briefed the media on the number of ammunition in their possession.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: I know since then we have received two more, we should be getting the others this week. We continue to work on that and see what else we can do to disarm the gang members of their firearms. What we see in the gang world is that it’s not everybody has a gun. Some when they want to go on missions they go borrow guns to go and do the mission and when they’re finished they return the gun to who they borrow it from. So to say that 137 released and 27 guns don’t add up I wouldn’t ascribe to that because not each of them would have a gun. We got up to seven from one group. Well I would hope that they keep it that way, if it is that they keep it that way it’s good for all of us, we want to see us a society coexisting we cannot have people among us who display behaviors that are incompatible with ordinary human behaviors and all we ask of the gang members is to display behavior that is consistent with regular people and if that happens there will be no issue with us.”
According to COMPOL there have not been any major crimes reported over the last couple of weeks, only minor burglaries.