And last night’s shooting comes hours after thirty Belize City men who were arrested and remanded to the Belize Central Prison for being members of a gang were released. This has many Belize City residents, particularly those in the Southside, wondering if there was a need for the SOE to be extended. Police Commissioner Chester Williams explained that the perpetrator of last night’s shooting was not one of the men released from prison after the SOE expired.
Chester Williams, Commissioner, Belize Police Department: “These persons who were involved in that incident last night were not persons who were a part of the state of emergency. Prior to those persons released yesterday there was meeting held with them by LIU and the different agencies, including police, just to make sure that they are in a state of readiness to be released back into the public and we are optimistic that they will hold their corner, at least for now, and I had said to the officer who attended the meeting with them that to convey my message to them that even though they are being released now, if it is that they would want to start their foolishness again, I would be more than happy to go back to the Minister and the Prime Minister and request that they be sent back to prison and if it is that that were to happen, it would certainly be more than 30 days this time. So I won’t want to attribute what happened last night to them. It would be unfair. You would know that the Antelope Ext. area has been a problematic area for quite some time now and it is an area we are looking seriously at at this time. If it is that we need to invoke the SOE on them and send them away like we did to those in the Martin’s area then we will do so.”