Twelve men of a Corozal jury took less than 90 minutes to dismiss the charges against 27 year old Robert Hinds and his younger brother Eric Hinds, aged 18. The Corozal people have smarted under police persecution and corrupt police officers for years. The situation is aggravated by the proximity of the Mexican border. The newspapers are continually printing stories of the National Police Force of Belize which is a force subject only to politicians of a controlling political party, run mostly by townies from the old capital gangs of pseudo intellectuals under the old colonial form of government system.
The police in Belize are not local residents and do not answer to a local police chief elected every two years at the ballot box. The national police force are not voter friendly any more than they have to be. They answer only to political party masters in the capital Belmopan, who come from the port town of Belize City, the old colonial capital. This corrupt system of policing served our old colonial masters well, but does not serve a thwarted stunted pseudo democracy at all. We need voter control of the police and in particular local voters control. Police need to be from the area in which they police.
The Hinds boys protested in court that they were beaten until they signed confessions. People in the rural villages of Belize know this methodology well. It has been going on for a hundred years. The defense counsel was Oswald Twist of the Belize Legal Aid Center. Mr. Simeon Sampson was the prosecutor. The Corozal jury did not waste much time in coming to a decision. Most probably, they had experienced police brutality themselves, or had relatives that had. The case presented for the murder of the Coca Cola truck driver that was robbed was also incomplete. Two masked robbers robbed and killed the truck driver, Alex Felix on August 6, 1998 and escaped with his cash.
The truck drivers assistant, testified that one of the masked men was dark complexion and the other was a fair complexion. Both Hind brothers have dark complexion. The most telling point though, was that tortured accused persons who have to sign confessions are often known to be telling the truth in Belize. This is not Communist Russia, but it is not much different when it comes to police work. The sad part, is the perpetuation by old colonial townies of this colonial policing system. The slave /master plantation mentality culture of those born and raised in the old colonial capital of the port Belize City.