No arrest has been made, no one has been detained, and no official word has been made as to whether Special Constable Danny Conorquie was killed by Belizeans or Guatemalans.
The outcry over the shooting death of SC Conorquie, attached to the Tourism police unit, has been widespread, especially since the shooters are believed to be Guatemalans.
Danny Conorquie was shot in the Caracol Area, as he was posted at Caracol Mayan site in the Cayo District. Another Police Constable in the area reported that at 11:56 a.m. he heard what appeared to be gunshots, and upon investigation he saw about five men standing around SC Conorquie, who then fired several shots at him, but he escaped. The Hispanic men then fled the scene.
On Thursday’s newscast, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, says the case is a matter for the Ministry of National Security, because there has been no evidence offered that the shooters are in fact Guatemalan, and so the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not involved in this latest near border tragedy at this point.
On Friday, in response to the Minister’s comments, The Leader of the Opposition, the Honourable Francis Fonseca, and the People’s United Party issued a press release in which it says, “This latest act of incursion and breach of national security is worsened by the fact that in occurred in the plain view of tourists, with obvious repercussions for this vital industry. No effort therefore, can be spared in the investigation of this brazen crime and every attempt must be made to bring Danny Conroquie’s murderers to justice as quickly as possible.
We demand, on behalf of all Belizeans, that the Government of Belize lodge an immediate and vigorous protest of this crime and affront to our national security and sovereignty, with counterparts in Guatemala, at the highest level, once we can confirm that this abhorrent act was committed by Guatemalan nationals trespassing in our national reserve.
We condemn the timid, almost cowering reaction, of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington in the face of this latest, tragic act of aggression, apparently by Guatemalan intruders and demand that the Foreign Ministry immediately request such verification assistance from the OAS as is necessary.”
Meanwhile the People’s National Party also commented on the matter saying that “This murder of a young Belizean police officer in the course of his duty by what appears to be Xateros from Guatemala is the direct consequence of the policy of appeasement being pursued by this and previous administrations.”
The National Trade Union Congress also weighed in on the matter saying, “We ought not to leave any stone unturned as the relevant Ministries (National Security and Foreign Affairs, nonetheless), does all in their power to get to the bottom of this atrocious, cowardly, act.”
On Friday Senator Godwin Hulse spoke about Special Constable Conorquie’s death. While not completely up-to-date on his colleague Minister’s comments, he was able to say that the Government has paid some attention to the matter in recent week.
The Minister distinguished between the circumstances of the recent “compassionate payment” to the family of a Guatemalan who was killed in the Chiquibul by BDF soldiers while noting that Danny Conorquie’s family deserve no less.
“We have to look after our people. The issue though is different. You have to realize that in that case, that was a compassionate payment. I think government looked at it and said OK this is a poor citizen. And yes while that citizen was on the wrong side of the border and there were issues with him, I think government’s collective idea was make a compassionate payment. With respect to a Belizean, the same would be obtained I am sure and I would hope because our people are also very important to us, and more important to us.”