Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura’s steep fall from grace, in the wake of his traffic mishap on the Benque Viejo Road last Saturday, has resulted in a pause among senior officials of the Government of Belize, who hold to the line that he was properly and timely disciplined.
Protests were held in San Jose Succotz on Tuesday, were residents of the area were demanding justice and the immediate arrest of Segura. But we heard an interesting take on the matter on Thursday from Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Santino Castillo, though it is not altogether new. According to the Minister of State, while nothing excuses his actions on the road, perhaps the Deputy Commissioner may have been suffering from the stresses of his job as the number two policeman in Belize. He tells us more, while also commenting on the reaction of the people of San Jose Succotz, who came out demanding that Segura be criminally charged.
“Quite honestly in Belize you are innocent until you are proven guilty. However, if indeed the gentleman as it shown so far by the blood test was drinking, it’s a very tragic accident. It shows that alcohol and drinking do not mix. It shows that we should not drink and drive. We should have a designated driver if that’s what we are going to do, and I commend the government and I commend the police for acting decisively and swiftly on the matter. The example should always start at the top, quite honestly. But I was also made to understand, I did my own research on the case, that with the pressures that the Police Department faces, Mr. Segura might not be the only one that drinks. I understand the pressures of the job in the Police Department has driven a few officers to drink. That doesn’t mean, however, they have to drive.”
“The Benque people, like myself, are heated Spanish people. They wanted to make sure that Government acted swiftly and decisively, which is what Government planned to do anyhow. They demonstrated. The Government gave them all the leeway for them to demonstrate, and I think they proved a point. These people are rallying because they’re saying, ‘This should not have happened.’ So, I don’t blame them for doing so at all. If it was my family member, I would have probably done exactly what they did.”
Commissioner Segura faces six traffic-related criminal charges including manslaughter by negligence, in the death of Yolanda Valencia, and has been suspended from the Department pending the outcome of his criminal trial.