Alleged Police brutality in Roaring Creek

vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h14m05s5This is the area where one Roaring Creek resident claims personnel from the Gang Suppression Unit brutally assaulted him on Thursday afternoon. He is one of a few persons residing in a yard within the village, who says the GSU have been conducting operations misusing their authority. This is his story.


Man who Alleges GSU Brutality: [paraphrased]

vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h14m45s78vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h14m13s83vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h21m20s223vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h22m24s125Yesterday the men came into the yard.  They found nothing. They asked me about something I knew nothing about.  I told them I didn’t know anything.  They carried me back of the bush.  They punched me, and knocked me under my throat.  They put a bag over my head.  One of them stifled me because I couldn’t catch my breath.  They beat me on my back.  They beat me on my foot.  They did a lot of things to me.  They stood me up in the bush.  There were a lot of them.  Three vehicles came yesterday.  They did a lot of things to me. They asked me something I did not know about.  They hauled me in the bush.  I didn’t know what they were talking about.  [They had me back there] about three or four hours.  They let me go from there and I ran home.   

We also spoke with his brother, who alleges similar mistreatment. He too asked to appear off camera for safety reasons.

Brother of Alleged Victim: [paraphrased]

vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h29m11s194The night before that they came.  They took me by the water and kicked me.  They kicked me in my ribs.  The second time they came in the yard and threatened me.  They kicked me on the foot the first time.  When they came again they threatened my step-brother.  The young children were doing their homework when they came in with all their guns.  All the people that don’t belong here, we make them stay far away from this yard.  But the police do not know that.  We tried to explain that to them, but there’s no talking when they come.  We have to lay on the ground and do what they say.  We have to follow their procedures.  We’re always ready to cooperate, but not like that.   

But that’s not where the buck stops, as a third man chronicled for us what he reportedly experienced at the hands of the GSU on Wednesday. The accuser says GSU picked him up at the home and took him to Belize City. The following day, they escorted him back to Belmopan. Here what he claims happened on that trip.

Third Alleged Victim: [paraphrased]

vlcsnap-2013-09-16-09h42m05s151A vehicle was on the highway and I thought it was going to the Belmopan [Police] Station.  When I got there the vehicle stopped, and put me on the next vehicle, and they came to this spot.  They told me to talk.  I said how can I talk about  something I don’t know about. They said if I didn’t talk, they’d kill me.  So they came in the hole behind the bush with a pickaxe.  One had a gun near my mouth.  One had a gun on my front, one on my back.   They said, say your last prayer.  So I said, just kill me, because I’m innocent.  They left me on the roadside in the bush.  I had to walk.  They told me to stay in the bush, and I ran in the bush.  They said, go deeper in the bush, and I went deeper in the bush too.  I came through the bush, back to the road, and caught a bus back home.    

The men say they understand if the unit is tasked to conduct an operation and would just want them to do so without employing unnecessary force.

Brother of Alleged Victim: [paraphrased]

There’s a lot of attention now, with the things that have happened in the village.  They could come and do their job pleasantly and follow procedure.  We could understand that, but [not] when they come and rough up people and threaten them, and innocent people get hurt.  They should go and find the criminals, and seek justice with good manners.  They don’t have to come and abuse anyone.    

Man who Alleges GSU Brutality: [paraphrased]

This is the first time they have done this to me.  They came more than once and threatened my brother and my step-father.  If they came and followed procedures pleasantly, we would humble ourselves.

When our news team arrived at the residence on Friday, one of the men was preparing to leave the village for a few days, saying that he is in fear for his life and really just does not want any trouble. We tried contacting the Officer Commanding the GSU, but our efforts were unsuccessful.

About the Author