The Belize People’s Front (BPF) has rallied residents of the West, and indeed all of the country, to attend a rally at the Western Border, to protest the Government’s seeming inability to develop a policy to police our borders and protect our natural resources.
In the wake of the death of 20 year old Special Constable Danny Conorquie in the line of duty last Thursday, Belizeans have been up in arms.
But according to attorney and union leader Audrey Matura-Shepherd, it is now time to act.
“ Why are we going to the border? Simply because you want to know that it is a border issue we’re dealing with, and our government needs to take heed of it. It’s not to irritate anyone, it’s not to upset anyone, it is being symbolic, because what we are having are border incursions, incursions which our government definitely knows has been occurring for years and that it has been escalating in recent times.
They know it because they have all the security meetings, briefings with the parties over the Guatemalan side, Mexico, all over but they know that this has been happening. There have been several shootings before at our security personnel, near Caracol, but none has led to a fatality. This one that has led to a fatality is only now bringing to the forefront the fact that what the authorities knew all along but the public in general didn’t know, and that is why we are going to the border.
It is supposed to be peaceful and symbolic and we want people to take their flags out and take a stand. You have to take a stand, stop complaining on Facebook, stop complaining in your house, and just grumbling in your workplace. Take a stand. It has to be that your government knows this is serious.
Imagine, this young man died in the line of duty. He was executed in the line of duty and we don’t even see our flags flying half-mast. We don’t even see our people crying out and protesting. Don’t they realize what this means? So there are some of us with a social conscience, and the people from San Ignacio as usual have asserted themselves and are making the first move.”
Audrey Matura-Shepherd says she has been disappointed thus far with the reaction of the Government to the Danny Conorquie incident at Caracol.
“Maybe there are other authorities we don’t know of. Maybe there are meetings with the Prime Minister, maybe the Minister of National Security, that we don’t know of. that is taking it more seriously, and they will later issue a statement.
I, as a citizen, would have expected that statement to have been issued the moment that young man was killed in the line of duty, with his uniform on, and his state issued revolver , was taken away.
Remember what the report says. They shot at him. He fell and thereafter they came over him and finished him off. That’s what they did. That’s an execution. It’s an execution by Guatemalan bandits on a Belizean law enforcement officer. If you don’t get the sense of it, then you’re in the wrong country.”
Nancy Marin of the Belize People’s Front was on Monday morning’s Rise and Shine show, where she explained purpose of the rally and the message they are trying to bring across.
“We are trying to get in front of the OAS building. We want the OAS and we want Guatemala to hear that though our government is appeasing to them, and apologetic to them, the Belizean people have has enough. That is our message, and asking for justice for Danny Conorquie. He is our first lawman to be killed.
In any part of the world you go, you kill a police officer, or a military, the implications are great.
This is not a time to talk about party politics, it’s about Belize, it’s about our people, it’s about a young man who lost his future. It’s about a family who lost one life. Let’s make that bone life worth it. and make that one life purposeful for the unity of our country.
I want everybody, from every part of the country, to make their way to Cayo tomorrow. It is time that we send a message to our government, to the OAS, to the Guatemalan Government and people, and to the international community, that though the government won’t stand up for us, we are able to stand up for us!”
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), via press release this weekend, has confirmed it’s intentions to be in attendance. Attendees will start off from the Macal River Park in town and head west to the border, near to the OAS office. And despite Supintendent Disndale Thomspon’s change of heart, he assured us on Monday that the police department will ensure maximum security at the border rally.
Late Monday evening, we saw police in Belmopan practicing their riot control techniques. Donned in riot gear, the officers at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan, complete with the riot Act banner, marched up to police trainees who were pretending to be a disorderly crowd of protestors. Hopefully, there will be no need for the riot squad at Tuesday’s protest.