COLA comments on murder of Police Constable in Roaring Creek

Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has commented on this week’s incidents including the death of a police constable in Roaring Creek Village and alleged brutality inflicted by security forces on several young men from Belize City and Independence village over the Easter weekend. Stating that “The Department is obligated to act in a professional and responsible manner, not allowing the power entrusted to them by the people of Belize to be misused and abused.” The release continues to says while our society is “built on law and order,” the police and the community must work together to enforce the law so that peace and harmony is achieved, the organization called for a proper and thorough investigation of the Independence case by the Police’s Professional Standards Branch and the suspension without pay of the officers involved until its conclusion. It added that in the case of Constable Berchel Ramirez who was ambushed by four armed men in Roaring Creek on Tuesday night, “We find it difficult to understand the circumstances of the case and urge that this be investigated as well and the perpetrators brought to justice. No motive is justifiable if it means taking the life of an innocent individual who harmed no one.” Finally COLA wants the Ministry of National Security to invest in proper audio recorders for the taking of statements at Police stations in addition to written statements, as well as creating a bank of statements for future reference and seeing that witnesses, including “appropriate legal officers”, be present when statements are taken. It referred to several recent past unsolved deaths in which the Police have been accused of involvement in reminding Commissioner Allen Whylie and the Department of their pledge to keep their officers from misusing their powers.

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