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#454805 - 01/08/13 06:48 PM Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside
Katie Valk Offline
Advice for today-if you are coming to Belize City, stay out of the Southside. If you don't have a choice, don't be on the streets walking and get in and out quickly.
_________________________
Belize based travel specialist
www.belize-trips.com
info@belize-trips.com

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#454809 - 01/08/13 08:36 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline
Shooting Madness in Belize City – This morning, just
minutes before the working hour at around 8:00 o’clock, Belize City
Police found four bodies at an upstairs apartment located at the corner
of Plues and Dean Streets, apparently all had been shot dead.

Police are not releasing the names of the persons yet but other sources
say that at least one of the deceased persons is a well known Belize
City street figure.

=================
Official Government Press Release regarding the escalating crime situation in Belize City today Tuesday, January 8, 2013:
"Apparent Multiple Homicide in Belize City
The Ministry of National Security confirms reports of an apparent
multiple homicide that occurred in Belize City sometime Monday night. Police responded to a call around 8:00 this morning and visited an apartment complex at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets where they found the lifeless bodies of four men, namely, Albert Fuentes 19, Leonard Meyers 30, Anthony Perez, 28, and Keino Quallo, 40.
The bodies had multiple stab wounds, and there were no signs of forced entry. Police have since removed the bodies from the scene and have launched an investigation led by three senior members of the Police Department.
The Police Department and Ministry of National Security assure the
Belizean Public that law enforcement authorities are on the ground and are taking measures to ensure public safety in this area and throughout Belize City."

=============

from a friend...

National News: Belize City under siege. Is Belize City
in a State of Emergency?

Due to the recent shootings in Belize City, businesses
have been shutting down this morning and schools have been
calling parents to pick up their children immediately.

The Prime Minister of Belize has scheduled a press conference
for 3:00 p.m. today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel as a
consequence of the Belize City madness.

We would hope that the Prime Minister is serious about this
situation and immediately declares a State of Emergency and
Martial Law.

============

Tension in Belize City rises due to Gang related activity causing businesses to shut down and schools to release students.

WAR ON THE SOUTHSIDE OF BELIZE CITY
The Prime Minister of Belize has scheduled a press conference for 3pm today at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel.

================

Update - The Ministry of National Security releases names of four victims
who were allegedly stabbed (not shot). There were no visible signs of forced entry. The incident
occurred in Belize City sometime Monday night. Police responded to a call around 8:00 this morning
and visited an apartment complex at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets where they found the
lifeless bodies of four men, namely, Albert Fuentes 19, Leonard Meyers 30, Anthony Perez, 28, and
Keino Quallo, 40. The bodies had multiple stab wounds, and there were no signs of forced
entry. Police have since removed the bodies from the scene and have launched an investigation
led by three senior members of the Police Department. The Police Department and Ministry
of National Security assure the Belizean Public that law enforcement authorities are on the
ground and are taking measures to ensure public safety in this area and throughout Belize City.

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#454813 - 01/08/13 09:31 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
shuffles Offline
Patrick Jones reported on his FB page that while he and other reporters were covering this, they had to run for cover from gunshots. This is tragic.
_________________________
Change your Latitude

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#454814 - 01/08/13 10:42 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline
Travel Advisory Notice from United States Embassy – Press Release

Advisory from the US Embassy in Belize to all US Citizens: January 8, 2013
This Security Message informs U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Belize
of several gang-related homicides that occurred in Belize City on January 7, 2013.

While there is no indication that U.S. citizens are targeted or otherwise under
direct threat, there is a possibility that retaliatory violence could take place.
As a precaution, the Embassy's Regional Security Officer has advised U.S.
Government personnel to avoid travel to Belize City for the time being.

Please contact the Embassy office at 822-4011 or via email at consulbelize@state.gov if you have any questions.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet web site at http://travel.state.gov/, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Alerts, Travel Warnings, and health information resources can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada or, for inquirers in other areas, by calling a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00am to 8:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens living in or traveling to Belize are encouraged to enroll with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) website at:

https://travelregistration.state.gov/ibrs/ui/

By enrolling, U.S. citizens can obtain updated information on travel and security within Belize, and make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency. U.S. citizens without Internet access may enroll in person directly with the U.S. Embassy.

The U.S. Embassy is located at:
#4 Floral Park Road
Belmopan, Belize
Telephone: 501-822-4011, 8:00am to 5:00pm

For emergencies after hours, on weekend, and holidays: 501-610-5030,
Fax: 501-822-4050;
E-mail: ACSBelize@state.gov;
Website: https://Belize.usembassy.state.gov/

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#454826 - 01/09/13 05:09 AM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline
G.O.B. SAYS NO MOTIVE AND NO OPINION LEADING TO ANY SUSPECTS OF LAST NIGHT’S QUADRUPLE MURDERS IN THE CITY

In a press conference this evening at around 3:00 p.m. at the Belize Biltmore Plaza, Prime Minister Dean Barrow (pictured left) made a disturbing revelation where he alleges that the George Street gang hierarchy maintains a strong conviction that the GSU (Gang Suppression Unit) is directly responsible for the murder of Albert Fuentes 19, Leonard Meyers 30, Anthony Perez, 28, and Keino Quallo, 40 – calling it a state sponsored murders. Attending the press conference were various delegates from the Government of Belize, the Prime Minster himself Dean Barrow, Minister’s of Government, security personnel including the Minister of National Security John Saldivar, Acting Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie, Brigadier General of the Belize Defence Force Dario Tapia, CEO National Security, Colonel George Lovell, Supt. Alden Dawson Head of C.I.B, Head of the GSU Marco Vidal, police press officer Raphael Martinez, councillors of the Belize City Council and members of the press.

In his opening remarks Prime Minister Barrow stated “Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen. We called the press conference of course because, after the discovery of four bodies at an address in Belize City that is, in fact, one of the places of operation, if you will, of the George Street crew – the purpose of the press conference in essence is two-fold. One of the reasons for the general sense of crisis that set in after the discovery of the bodies this morning is directly attributable to the rumour mill to the fact that all sorts of false reports as circulated in the public domain, particularly on Facebook and to some extent the media - and we need to make clear to the citizens what happened and what did not happen. The second purpose of the press conference is to assure the public that the situation is much under control and to share the details of what the security forces have put in place to make safe the security of the residents of Belize City…”

Prime Minister further stated that there were no actions of random shootings in the city after the discovery of the bodies but merely warning shots were made by the security forces in the air so that any situation could be contained but that no one was injured.

He assured residents of the city that what continues to happen now and what residents will see for the indefinite future is that a special proclamation is going to be done so that a particular zone concerned particularly to the Government of Belize and the security forces can be sealed off and extra bodies are being called out so that there can be effective on the ground containment as well as wider policing in Belize City.

He further stated he recognizes that in his view now that this is not any inter-gang execution that key opportunists in the underworld would want to take advantage of the current climate and especially because there is going to have to be a concentration of forces in the area of the most immediate concern. Prime Minister assured that the Government will have to guard and will do so against the possibility that other areas will have to be carefully monitored, patrolled and guarded.

In an effort to contain any gang retaliation, through the efforts of the Minister of Housing, PM Barrow stated that he personally met at his office with members of the George Street gang and has assurances that no retaliation against the state or civilians will happen as the gang affiliates believe that the murders are not gang related.

The key leaders of the George Street gang hierarchy have been convinced by the state, to leave the city until things quell down a bit. The whereabouts as to the location of these gang members were not disclosed but is said to be in some residents owned by the gangers outside of the city.

Of note is that businesses and banks closed earlier than usual today in the City and children were released from school earlier than as scheduled.

As a precaution, the United States Embassy through the Embassy's Regional Security Officer has advised U.S. Government personnel to avoid travel to Belize City for the time being.

At the podium was Minister John Saldivar, Marco Vidal, Alden Dawson, designate Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie and Dario Tapia.

Asked about taking a bi-partisan approach to this anomaly, Prime Minister Barrow welcomes any party to assist in every effort to combat this crime endemic.

Designate Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie (pictured left) assured that there would be more foot patrols in the City and that the Police have a number of targets that they are going after. Tangible results requires the full use of the law.

A strong investigation continues into the four homicides as residents of the city struggle for some sense of normalcy.

Courtesy: Corozal Daily (…Sometimes)

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#454827 - 01/09/13 05:10 AM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline
from a friend....

Well we can all sleep easy now. The Prime minister and representatives of the Cabinet (three senior ministers) have met in the Prime Ministers Office with the Gang Leaders and they have worked out a truce. GO Team GO. WTF am I missing? The PM has arranged for the gang leaders to go on a "furlough" (at taxpayers expense, no doubt) and they are now vacationing in a secret location. Will he ever get the sense - these circumstances do not call for negotiations

======

another friend....

The essence of what the Prime Minister's damage control press conference revealed:

1. The Bad News - the George Street Crew is absolutely satisfied that the Gang Suppression Unit was responsible for the alleged state-sponsored murders this morning.

2. The Good News - that because of this false assumption, the George Street Gang will NOT take retaliatory measures against any other gangsters or member of the public.

3. The George Street Gang leadership has left Belize City for a furlough with the assistance of the security forces.

4. Everything is under control and all schools and businesses will re-open tomorrow.

The PM confirmed that this was brought out in a meeting with the George Street Gang Leaders in his office today.

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#454835 - 01/09/13 01:30 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline

Mass Murder On George Street: Killers Moved In Silence & Violence

Tonight the city is recovering from a highly stressful day that teetered between panic and pandemonium- and the George Street area is traumatized after four well known neighborhood men were found dead an apartment building; they were the victims of a mass murder, the likes of which have never been seen in Belize before.

The apartment at the corner of Dean and Plues is known to be the turf and one of the home bases of the George Street Gang. But sometime between last night and this morning, what is believed to have been a team of assassins went in to the building and with unheard-of stealth and surgical precision, cut the throats of four men: 30 year old Leonard "Ghost" Meyers, 19 year old Albert "Long John" Fuentes, 40 year old Keino Quallo and 28 year old Anthony Perez.

Ghost Meyers and Long John Fuentes are considered to be senior functionaries of the George Street Gang - Quallo was basically their run man, and from what we have gathered Perez was just seeking lodging.

But they were all killed last night - and the mass murder has left George street reeling and directly accusing their nemesis the GSU of carrying out state sponsored executions.

And that's because this mass murder defies the central logic of a gang; the apartment is in what is known as Gaza Turf - and no rival gang would dare go in there - in fact as far as the neighborhood known - only the police can.

That's the broad outline of a very complex story with far reaching implications; a story that sent the city reeling into panic today - and forced a spontaneous, panicked shutdown of downtown businesses.

The murder happened two blocks west of our studio and all of us were on the scene. Jules Vasquez begins our team coverage on Dean Street:

Jules Vasquez reporting
Police cordoned off Dean Street this morning and secured the area with many guns the crowd - including this mother swelling at the police line with a grim sense of foreboding and by 8:45 the first body came out and with each successive body another wave of grief with each movement from the police more hostility from the crowd Gerald Shiny Tillet the man recognized as the leader of George Street was also respectfully restrained when he tried to cross the police barrier but that only riled the crowd up more while the sister of Leonard Meyers collapsed in the street overcome by grief - overwhelmed at the sight of her brother's body as quickly as possible police moved off - against traffic on Dean Street - leaving behind an angry, volatile mood in the street - the neighborhood dead sure that the police - more specifically the GSU had done this one look at the crime scene and you'd have to ask who could do this - it was a bloodbath - pools of blood in the hallways this one right at the back door this one from the hallway into the bedroom, the fan still blowing - and the radio on and in the adjoining bedroom, another swatch of blood in this room there was blood and on the bed - some suspicious items, a box of latex gloves and what looks like a utility blade - was it left behind by the scenes of crime team, the killers…we can't say.

Like these two red shirts left out to dry- and the scarlet splash of blood on the cement floor - leave more questions than answers but on the streets - they wanted immediate answers and action and pretty soon, things started to jump off when the Belize Special Assignment group descended at the corner of George and Basra Streets - which is where they had a confrontation with Marlon Yorke whose stepson was among the dead. That set everything off.

Marlon Yorke - claims he was roughed Up by police
"I was taking pictures of what had happened out here earlier and the GSU came and told me that I can't have my camera. They arrest me and punch me in my jaw and tried to slam me down. They totally disrespect me. All I am doing is taking pictures. They had already kill stepson and rip out his throat upstairs at the boutique."

Jules Vasquez
"Were you like all up in their face?"

Marlon Yorke
"No I was at my business. They came and just drove by and jump out the truck and arrest me."

Jules Vasquez
"Did they have any physical contact with you?"

Marlon Yorke
"Yes they arrest me and punch me in my jaw and that what's made everything jumped off."

With some in the crowd having witnessed that - they just needed a reason to go off on police - and from there it went from volatile to violent very quickly:

Behind them - these two soldiers kept their guns trained on lower George Street - which is traditionally known as the base of the George Street gang - to make sure there was no attack from behind. Seconds later, the first bottle flew - and that's when the B-Sag went into super aggressive mode.

At the next sound - they opened fire and more pints flew - followed by more shots that was the end of the exchange but more police were descending on the area quickly asserting control of the area and on the other side of Basra street still on George - another police operation - clearing the area and conducting rapid searches of targeted homes from there police and B-Sag AR-15 rifles on the ready ON THE GORUND and up above and while the public was dispersed - police picked up the expended shells from the rounds they had fired.

Riot ready GSU moved in to solidify their position while we were moved back again they held the area like this for half an hour and after that they readied to roll out still watching for threats from all sides.

AR-15's on the ready, a shattered car window and a few shards of stout pints but no one threw pints as they left no one dared and when those shots were fired, the panic went out in waves - nearby Wesley Lower School - just a block from the action pulled it doors with parents taking home their children.

And in downtown Belize City the shutters started coming down - first was Gaylord - which had been looted in the 2005 riots. Other businesses followed bogus word went out that there was a riot forming or marauding gunmen in the street - none of which were true but the mere word of it was enough to cause mass closures.

And slammed shutters even at the banks in the downtown area. The same at schools all across the city - this one on the north side - where parents called in a panic responding to rumors that there would be a riot.

With such widespread panic - parents got their kids home as best and as fast as they could while Dean Street remained under lock down. Of course, we'll have much more form George Street later on as Monica Bodden will speak with all the families of the deceased - and sampled bitter emotional sentiment in the neighborhood. But, first to the state response to contain the public terror in the city.


WHAT HAPPENED ON DEAN from 7News Belize on Vimeo.


PM Met With George Street Leader

As noted in the story, the mass murder and the subsequent shots being fired in the air by the B-SAG unit, caused a flood of panic across the city. Dozens of crazy stories went out: first saying that police officers had been shot, then that there was a riot, then word that there was a riot at the KHMH. All of those stories were false, but the cumulative effect of all was to create a sense of imminent siege and widespread terror in the city. It was all unnecessary because nothing happened after the bodies were found - but with rumors flying at the speed of text and multiplying at a Facebook factor of 10 - no one was taking any chances.

But there was legitimate reason for panic, because the George Street area is certain the mass murder was carried out by the GSU - and we have seen gang retaliations against the state recently: so the fear was that innocent people would be targeted this time. Enter the area representative for the Mesopotamia division, Michael Finnegan. The base for the George Street Gang is in his division and he reached out to leaders to arrange a meeting with the Prime Minister in Belmopan.

That meeting was held this afternoon - and the Prime Minister reported on it at a press conference this afternoon at the Biltmore. Here's what he said:..

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"The leaders of the so called George Street gang in an effort to make absolutely certain that the retaliation that people feared this morning that did not occur may not in fact occur over the next few hours; over the next few days; over the next few weeks. Ladies and gentlemen as a consequence of that meeting which took place in my office and which we set up through the facilitation of the Minister of Housing there is good news and bad news; the bad news is that the people from George Street are absolutely convinced that these were state sponsored murders that not to put too fine point on it that it was the GSU that killed the 4 persons in that apartment building. That's bad news because of course their conviction is utterly unfounded and it constitutes a very serious allegation in deed against the integrity of the GSU; against the integrity of the police department; against the integrity of the security forces and against the integrity of the government. We have tried to make clear to the leaders that their conviction has no basis in reality. The good news is because George Street is absolutely satisfied that this was not some kind of an attack from a rival gang - there is no question of the murders provoking any inter-gang warfare between George and any group that might otherwise have been suspected as being responsible for the killings. But of course it left us with the question of whether George Street would think the then retaliation is due against the state by way of launching the feared attacks against innocent civilians. I say to you that we are reasonably confident that that's not going to happen. We are absolutely confident that the situation is under control. Let me reiterate that we are absolutely certain that all conditions are in place for life to return to normal in Belize City and in particular on the Southside of Belize City."

"There should no basis on which closures of schools; closures of businesses; closures of public premises ought to be continued tomorrow. We reasoned with the individuals - with the leaders. We made clear that it would be absolutely unthinkable for there to be any attempt at retaliation against innocent citizens. I will say that right from the start of those discussions they freely volunteered their commitment that absolutely nothing like that would happen. Now I say to residents of the city; I say to citizens of this nation that notwithstanding that particular development as you have heard the security forces are putting in place all that is necessary to make assurance to the public. The key leaders of George Street have left the city under an arrangement with the security forces and their location is one in which we expect them to continue to be over the next few days."


GSU Denies Involvement

Today's press conference was to try and somehow settle the sense of public disquiet - and to make a public declaration that the GSU was not responsible for the deaths.

For that the Prime Minister called upon the GSU Commander Marco Vidal who hardly ever makes press appearances. Here's what he had to say:..

Marco Vidal, Head of GSU
"We find that the allegation they made is totally unfounded and it is baseless. Any suggestion that the Gang Suppression Unit would be involved in such a heinous crime would self-defeat us as it would destabilize the country and certainly that is not our mandate."

Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"The GSU had visited that area and those particular premises earlier in the day, yesterday. The George Street people allege that the GSU had broken the lock on the back door of the premises and they see that as offering proof positive that this was so - so that the GSU could come back in the dead of night and gain easy access to the premises. Mr. Dawson will tell you that when the police went on the scene they photograph the premises, they photograph the back door and that there is no question of that back door having been forced open - there is no question of any padlock having been broken off the back door."

And while the press conference was to say who didn't do it - there was not a single word said about who or who all might have done it and why. The investigation is in its infancy but certainly the level of complexity, stealth and surgical precision seems to preclude any possibility that it could be any local crew. So was it some kind of international cartel? Police had no comment on that today.


Families, George Street Blame Police For Deaths

So far we've shown you what the scene was like on George Street this morning, and we had the state's response plus the GSU disclaimer. But while the societal sense of terror is happening at the wider level - at the level of the family and the community - this is a mass tragedy.

Today Monica Bodden went to George Street to speak with family members about their loved ones, their lost ones:..

Voice of: Cousin of Ghost
"I got up this morning to go to work and when I came out I saw a lot of people on Plues Street. When I heard that my family got shot I went to see what was happening. When I went upstairs, one of the young men that they call "Long John" has a hole in his throat and a cut across his face and my family was sitting down in a chair with a big slice across his neck. That young man doesn't mess with anybody - the other 3 are into gang yes but the other one - they killed him too. This is simpleness. The GSU told me when I went to station that George Street men who are not dead are going to jail for the rest of their life. We are trying to calm down - you see they arrest any George Street men yet? Nothing like that. This is 6 now, we just loss two, my family that got killed was working, he doesn't mess with nobody."

"When they brought down my family "Ghost" - his face was not even covered. They want us to see how they did it to him. All the rest of faces were covered."

Monica Bodden
"We understand that Ghost was in Manatee up until last night?"

Voice of: Cousin of Ghost
"He was in Manatee; he doesn't stay around here much. When he comes he stays right here and the reason why he moved from around here was for the same reason. He went to Manatee - to village just to live a better life."

Marlon Yorke
"As I entered I saw one body lying on the stomach. I was looking for my stepson - when I saw him around the curve - it's just sad. The first body was covered in blood and my stepson was lying in blood."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me about his injuries, what did you notice?"

Marlon Yorke
"His face was dug out and his whole throat was missing - was just a bloody scene. I saw it all and you know when something is a statement - I believe it was a statement and yes by the police. Neighbors say they heard screaming and stuff but they wasn't thinking that that was going on."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me what position was he found in?"

Marlon Yorke
"He was found on his back like he was fighting."

Voice of: Resident of the area
"If it was me and my child had gotten killed I would get a gun and murder a policeman and die along with my child. The police supposed to be the law and if it was my child I would murder a policeman and die with my child."

Loraine Baizar, Aunt of Anthony Perez
"I never got a chance to see it because the police didn't want us to see it. But when they passed with the body you could see his face all sliced up."

Monica Bodden
"Did you went to the morgue?"

Loraine Baizar
"No but my sister went to the morgue, his mother."

Monica Bodden
"Do you understand what happened? I understand your nephew resided up at the apartment."

Loraine Baizar
"Yes he rented the upstairs and he lived up there, so I guess when they attack the other 3 men he must have seen it and they killed him too."

Reporter
"It was a brutal killing. Do you know why anyone would want him dead?"

Loraine Baizar
"I have no reasons to think that anyone wanted him dead because he is not a gang banger. He is just a working man helping my sister cook food to sell."

Voice of: Cousin of Ghost
"Two of them lived there. They can't go anywhere to lived - there are about 8-10 rooms upstairs. It is only pig that you slaughtered like that. It's because a case was coming up against the GSU."

Monica Bodden
"You guys strongly believe that it was police officers responsible for the slaughtered of these 4 men?"

Voice of: Cousin of Ghost
"Ma'am we know it's the GSU. The passed through my mom yard this morning. The happen like after 2-3 because the blood from the men is still hard, so this just happen."

Reporter
"We understand that it was the rain as well as all the TVs were on maybe to drowned the sound of them being attacked by whoever."

Voice of: Cousin of Ghost
"Ma'am that door cannot open that easy, so if anybody comes to rush them that would not happen. The only person who they open door for is the police because when they come they come in a hectic kind of way - they come like they want to kill someone any minute, any day. But we have something in store for them GSU and them - all of them - they can take this right now because we don't respect anything."

Voice of: Resident of the area
"Miss I live on the canal side and about 2:50am the red truck stop and 5 men in black jumped out but I didn't know that it was murder they were going to commit. Miss I see too much things from the canal side but if it was my son a officer in uniform `carrying a badge would die because I would die with my child today."

Vallen Perez, Mother of Anthony Perez
"He was a person who use to always get ignorant with himself but few seconds after he would come back and please again and do whatever he got to do."

Monica Bodden
"Mrs. Perez, I understand that you were waiting for his this morning."

Vallen Perez, Mother of Anthony Perez
"I was waiting for him to come in but I thought that he was sleeping late and I just started to do what I had to do."

Monica Bodden
"He normally comes out and helps you at 3am?"

Vallen Perez, Mother of Anthony Perez
"Yes he would come and knock on my window and come inside but this morning he never did it."

Reporter
"For a person life to be taken so brutally - his body I believe was seen by your mother at the front door."

Vallen Perez, Mother of Anthony Perez
"Yes my mother went to see him; I never wanted to see like that. For me I just want to remember him just like how he was. It's so sad to know that a person you know is not doing those kinds of things to die along with the people who died, it's so sad. I believe that the GSU did it, yesterday morning they harass them - they knock down their door they harass them at all hours, so I believe its them."

Voice of: Resident of the area
"There is no way, no gang on the face of Belize will come through the "Gaza" George Street and murder 4 men like that - it's the police!"


Whylie Speaks While Bullets Zip
And with all those rancorous anti police sentiment going around, Commissioner-designate Allen Whylie had what we'd have to say is the misfortune of being in the area at the same time when all the chaos was unfolding after the bodies were removed. He gave the media a brief interview on the situation and what the police department is doing to keep things under control - even as they seemed to be getting out of control, in real time:.. Allen Whylie - Commissioner Designate "I must say that any life lost is unacceptable and regrettable and condolences extended to the family. As you know we receive this information early this morning and the police responded and it was a gruesome find. We will ensure that we have our top investigators assign to this matter and all resources will be utilize to try to solve this heinous crime. In addition to that additional resources will be deployed to this area to contain and deescalate this situation and we will remain in this area as long as we need to remain." Patrick Jones, reporter "Commissioner this is not typically the welcome that a commissioner gets to the post. You are going to put additional resources here, we've tried that before flood the streets with police officers and it keeps getting worse." Allen Whylie - Commissioner Designate "Well true, as we said there is a lot of challenges within the city and my task will be focusing specifically on Belize City whilst we have issues of crime nationwide Belize City is the battleground and I believe that it is a fight that we cannot give up, we cannot lose hope. We will be doing and trying different things, we will be re-evaluating strategies and will be changing and adapting. Our strategies have got to be flexible as the situation changes we change our strategies on the ground." Reporter "Sir, it's the 8th in the new year and the 8 murder already. It's getting worse."

BDF Will Assist Police
This afternoon at the press conference, Whylie had the luxury of not having to speak over the staccato percussion of shots being fired mid-interview. He explained how police intend to maintain a presence in the area: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "A special proclamation is going to be done so that the zone of particular concern to the government and to the security forces can seal off. Extra bodies are being called out so that there can be effective on the ground containment as well as wider policing in Belize City." Allen Whylie - Commissioner Designate "Immediately we have deployed additional police and BDF in key areas within zone 4 which comprises of George Street and other areas. Those patrols will remain on the ground indefinitely until we are able to get the crime situation contained." Dario Tapia, Commander BDF "We have deployed additional troops to Belize City to compliment what we already have in support of the police. I think the situation demanded that we do that and we will continue to support the police in that regards with additional troops until we are able to satisfy the Belizean people that the situation in Belize City is contain or under control." Allen Whylie - Commissioner Designate "We have a number of targets that we are going after. We have got to move from a position on the defense to have these people on the defense. We have got to use all legal authority within our means to reassure the public that we serious about getting the job done."

Whylie: Police Will Secure Schools
But for most of us - the police's targets don't matter very much, what we want is personal security and the safety of our children when they are at school. Whylie said that special measures will be taken with schools that are deemed to be at risk:.. Allen Whylie - Commissioner Designate "We've also taken a number of other steps to reassure the schools. We had the various patrols to visit the school management to speak to them and assure them that we have the situation under control. Those patrols have been task that they will continue to visit the various schools within the zones that they have been assigned to. In addition to that we will be utilizing other officers in key schools that we believe we need to actually have a presence - not that we have any indication that anything will occur but because of the location that they are we want to assure the public as well as parents that their children are safe." And while school should resume as normal tomorrow, today the US Embassy issued a Security Message about Belize. It, quote, "informs U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Belize of several gang-related homicides that occurred in Belize City…" It adds that, quote, "While there is no indication that U.S. citizens are targeted or otherwise under direct threat, there is a possibility that retaliatory violence could take place. As a precaution, the Embassy's Regional Security Officer has advised U.S. Government personnel to avoid travel to Belize City for the time being." End quote.

Leader Of The Opposition Extends Olive Branch To PM
Today the opposition weighed in on the public panic that had consumed Belize City, and shut down schools and businesses. Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca flanked by caretakers from southside divisions held a quickly convened press conference to offer the Prime Minister an olive branch. Here's how he explained it:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the opposition "I want to take this opportunity as well to really invite if you like, encourage the Prime Minister and I am prepared to join him. Let us go into these communities together and if we need to invite religious leaders to join us, other social leaders to join us - let us go into these communities together. Our people in these communities need reassurance that in fact the state is on their side, that in fact the state is working to try to ensure that their lives are secure and safe that their property is secure and safe. I think we've reach this point in terms of the crisis we are facing. It's very important I think for the Belizean people to see that there is national unity on this most important issue." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Let me welcome in principle the offer of the Leader of the opposition to have us proceed to try to deal with this problem on a bipartisan basis." Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the opposition "We need to engage face to face with these communities and they have to understand in fact they are not at war with the state; that in fact the state is there to also provide for their security and protect them. We understand that in these communities there are very serious elements of crime but they are operating within communities where you have a lot of good innocent citizens and we have to make sure that when we go into these communities to tackle crime and to target the criminals which we have to do that in fact we are not saying to the entire community that we are coming after you - that you are a useless community and I sense that that is the message some of these communities are getting and it will be a very dangerous road for us to travel if these communities in fact make the determination that the state is not on their side." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Generally we want to move a partnership with the Honorable Leader of the Opposition, with his party and with all the social partners."

Hon Fonseca Rejects "GSU Did It" Theory
And while both leaders seem to agree on that one - do they also agree that the GSU is not responsible for the mass murder? Fonseca said he doesn't even want to entertain the possibility:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the opposition "All the prevailing view of the public certainly in the affected communities seems to be that these killings were state sanctioned killings. I certainly don't want to join in that and that's why I am saying that it is so important for us to send that very clear message to these communities that in fact that is not the case - that in fact the state is not trying to destroy our communities."

Redux For A Rough Day
And on that note we end what has been a stressful day in the city with a recap. Early this morning - at about 7:00, residents of the George Street area found four men dead in an apartment building at the corner of Plues and Dean Street. Two of them are considered senior members of the George Street Gang: 30 year old Leonard "Ghost" Meyers and 19 year old Albert "Long John" Fuentes, while the other victims 40 year old Keino Quallo and 28 year old Anthony Perez just happened to be living there. All four reportedly had their throats slit. Who did it? - no one knows - And why? - at this point no one in the licit world can say. We do know that the apartment is considered a home base of the George Street Gang and on many nights the man considered to be the leader of the gang, Gerald Shiny Tillett sleeps there. In fact we are told that Leonard Meyers was killed in Shiney's room, room number 9. The neighborhood remains convinced that the police did it, specifically the GSU - and the attitude towards police is past hostile tonight. Today though, after a meeting in Belmopan, it seems Tillett and the Prime Minister have reached a sort of accord: he and his crew were assured safe passage to Gales Point Manatee - a village that some members of the crew are from and where they often retreat to when police bring on the pressure. They are believed to be there tonight. Even as that is the case, police have set up the Dean and George Street areas as a sort of Special Zone - and it will be so declared by proclamation tomorrow. Tonight, the police tape that went up this morning at 8:00 pm remains across Dean Street 12 hours later. We'll keep following developments and have more the entire story tomorrow.

Channel 7


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#454838 - 01/09/13 01:52 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline

Throats of 4 gang members slashed in apartment
The death toll is ticking upwards as the crime epidemic claims more lives: Eight days into the New Year – eight murders. Terror blanketed the entire City this morning, just before eight after the gruesome discovery of four bodies inside an apartment building at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets. Security forces moved into [...]

Families believe GSU killed George Street Gangsters
All leads are being following by the police but so far, there is no established motive for the mass murder. Family members of the slain men believe the murders were state-sanctioned, a claim that has been denied by security forces. Of the four, Keino Quallo, the son of a former attorney who was gunned down [...]

Security Forces shot in air during murder investigation
This gruesome discovery made this morning at an apartment complex at the corner of Plues and Dean Streets in Belize City sent shockwaves to the entire country that the crime situation had spiraled to a point of crisis. Many said that it was basically a fight between the state and the gangs. And that statement [...]

Do you support a curfew given the current crime crisis?
Tonight’s question is: Do you support a curfew given the current crime crisis? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Rumors and FB caused City shutdown
The multiple murders of the George Street Gang associates all under one roof, may be the single most horrific incident in Belize’s recent history. After the discovery of the four bodies, there were gunshots heard in the vicinity of Dean and Plues Street. Shots were fired during an interview with the ComPol designate, Allen Whylie. [...]

George Street Gang on sabbatical
Most of the city would still not be at ease because many would assume that the George Street associates would retaliate the loss of their fallen brothers. Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that a delegation that he led, including both Ministers of National Security and Housing held a special conference with the leaders [...]

B.D.F. ready if necessary. So is Police Department
Superintendent Alden Dawson has just been promoted to the Head of the Eastern Division. He has hit the ground running and says his team is checking all leads and cameras in the area will be checked for evidence regarding the murders. He pledged to return to the scene following today’s press conference.  Dawson shared the [...]

Dan noh we! GSU Commander proclaims innocence
There was one allegation that Prime Minister Dean Barrow went at pains to dispel; not once, but twice during his conference. Apparently, the George Street Gang and residents of the area believe that the murders may have been committed by the Gang Suppression Unit. After dispelling the rumor, the PM also called GSU commander Marco [...]

Schools, businesses and banks close upon perceived threat
Schools and businesses will go back to schedule on Wednesday but this morning the downtown and south side areas closed down. Fearing the worst, parents picked up their children from various schools and to ensure the safety of employees, businesses pulled down their shutters. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has that story.   Delahnie Bain, Reporting [...]

P.U.P. supports government’s stance against crime
Just prior to the prime minister’s press conference, the People’s United Party issued its position on the unrelenting spate of crime and violence that continues to grip Belize City since the start of the New Year.  Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca, flanked by members of the party, held a press conference this afternoon to address public [...]

P.U.P. condemns rumors of GSU involvement in crime
Since the discovery of the four bodies this morning rumors have made their way onto the social media, particularly on Facebook, where it was posted that the homicides were the work of the Gang Suppression Unit.   Francis Fonseca, Opposition Leader “The prevailing view of the public, certainly in the affected communities, seems to be [...]


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#454892 - 01/10/13 12:41 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline

Back To The Chaos On Dean/George Streets

Yesterday, 7news had the most complete coverage of what was happening on the ground on Dean and George Streets.

But there's some stuff that didn't make the cut - and tonight we revisit those images with narration from Jules Vasquez:

Jules Vasquez Reporting

When we first arrived at the scene around 8:00 - the police were just arriving and trying to bring the area under control by dispersing residents form the area - after a good many had already made a trip inside to witness the gruesome scene.

This stepfather got pushed back and police had to keep on doing that. Police had a small armory out at the crime scene yesterday but this stretcher wasn't needed.

And as the bodies were brought out in a sickening succession of blood soaked bags this view form the ground level of family members wanting one last touch increasingly angering the crowd.

And spurring George Street Boss Gerlad Shiny Tillett to come forward, across the line which cause done police man to grab his gun in the holster while another one pulled his gun out in front of an angry mob.

While police and friends reasoned with Shiney, the situation around was tense but on the street side, this Gaza-man with tears in his eyes listened to Officer Jemoth's explanation as he watched the bodies of his friends - and his wing man Ghost Meyers laid out on a stretcher, he wiped his face, as the fourth bloddy body was brought out, Tillett retreated

And the convoy of the dead sped off - against traffic while police kept its presence at the corner of Plues and Dean while other police rolled in guns drawn while police ran to secure the scene on Basra and South streets. On George Street they also pushed us back and held positions, while this was unfolding on Basra street

Voice of: Resident of the area
"If it was me and my child had gotten killed I would get a gun and murder a policeman and die along with my child. The police supposed to be the law and if it was my child I would murder a policeman and die with my child."

But the police were not intimidated - they kept rolling in all directions in this tight cluster of Plues, Dean and George streets while keeping their guns on cock.

As is well known by now - after those shots were fired on Basra Street at its junction with George Street - that's when all kinds of crazy reports went out that mayhem had been unleashed on the Southside.

Channel 7


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#454897 - 01/10/13 12:58 PM Re: Belize City- 8 Jan 13-Stay away from the Southside [Re: Katie Valk]
Marty Offline

Who ordered the hit on the George Street 4?

Since the bodies of four George Street affiliates were found on Tuesday morning, there has been no further violence in the city’s hotspots. After meeting with the prime minister, some leaders of the gang left the City to cool off tensions. The rumor mill and citizen journalists on Facebook may have helped spread mass hysteria that shut down schools, banks and other businesses in Belize City on Tuesday, but it’s the lack of information that continues to encourage people to ask more questions. Those questions include:  How did the killers manage to execute four men in a flawless manner without being seen? Was the quadruple homicide motivated by recent events that unfolded on the streets? Sources in the Police Department are looking at several angles. Recently, there was the murder of a man who spent his time between Belize and Mexico. One trail that is being followed is exploring possible links between George Street gang affiliates and organized crime in Mexico about a drug deal gone bad. At his press conference on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the gang does not believe it was hit by another gang while he is certain that there will not be any retaliation by George Street against other gangs.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“We recognize that while for reasons I will tell you now, this in our view is not any inter-gang execution; still opportunists in the underworld, may want to take advantage of the current climate.”

Patrick Jones, Love TV

“You mentioned that you don’t believe that there is an inter-gang rivalry that is responsible. Then is there any…”

Dean Barrow

“I never said I don’t believe that, you know; please. I said they are positive that it is not any other gang. I haven’t offered my own view of who is responsible. I am telling you what the George Street people said to us. They are certain that it is not any other gang and so there can be no question of their retaliating against any other gang. We are arranging for some interlocutor, some intermediary other than the police, to speak to these people and to collect whatever material they may feel they have to offer. That material will be looked at certainly by the Ministry of National Security and if there is anything that appears to require further action; that further action will be taken. There can be no question, we believe, on retaliation at all as a consequence of the discussions. But in any case, even conceptually, there can be no retaliation against a rival gang because they are convinced that this is not the work of a rival gang. Now there are other inter-gang rivalries in the city as you know and that is why the Commissioner made the point that there are other zones where there will as well be increased vigilance. But please, the point I want to make clear is that there is no question in our minds of any retaliation by George Street certainly against any other gang. And we are convinced not, as well, any retaliation at large.”

External agents and deportees are being considered as possible leads.

Channel 5


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