COLA accuses Ministers of interfering in Police Department

On Wednesday we reported on COLA’s damning accusations that certain Ministers of Government have been interfering in the work of the Police Department, influencing transfers of officers who have earned their ire.

On Thursday the organization came forward with a September 2013 memo addressed to Ombudsman Lionel Arzu, which details several cases of officers being abruptly transferred after run-ins with Ministers.

One Woman Corporal was moved to Belize City from Orange Walk, after refusing to let go three persons including two Lebanese nationals, detained at a checkpoint on the Philip Goldson Highway, despite calls from then-Minister of State in Immigration and then-Commissioner of Police.

Woman Police Corporal Young was transfered from San Pedro, after allegedly refusing the request of another minister to let a tourist go from charges of boisterous behavior and assault.

The infamous case of Minister of State Mark King last February saw officer Ramos decline to testify, only to be interdicted and placed on tribunal.

The common thread, says COLA is alleged ministerial interference not allowing officers to do their jobs.

While we cannot bring you their comments, due to a request to hold off due to an abundance of caution, we can say that they consider the matter to be serious and worthy of intervention at the highest levels of Government. We can also tell you that they report that they have other files regarding police welfare and professional conduct, which tell much the same story, a story that we will keep following.

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