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#496237 - 09/30/14 11:37 AM Tuesday’s Protest Is Based on Facts
Marty Offline

and Not Emotions, Says Nancy

Twenty year old Danny Conorquie was laid to rest yesterday evening in his home village of Georgeville in the Cayo District. Conorquie was a Special Constable who was killed on duty as he was on patrol at the Caracol Mayan Site. He was gunned down by a trio of Hispanic men believed to be Guatemalans. Police believe that the culprits have already absconded to their home country. A protest will be held tomorrow morning at the Western Border and is being organized by the Belize People’s Front. Nancy Marin is the President of the Belize People’s Front.


NANCY MARIN

“Tomorrow is a day where Belizeans need to unite. We need to make the life of Danny Conorquie, as the first lawman to be killed by Guatemalans inside Belize territory, defending and protecting our country; we need to make that life worth the while and we need to make our government know that they will respect a Belizean life and they should respect it even much more than they respected the life of a farmer in Guatemala. Lives are the same but when it comes to a government, our people need to be first and these are the demands that we are making to government that they compensate this family the same way they did to the Guatemalan. We need to ask them to sit down with the Guatemalan government and solve this situation once and for all, peacefully if possible. We are sending a message to the international community that though the Belizean government is apologetic and appeasing to Guatemala, Conorquie Funeral 1the Belize people has had enough and we are standing to send a clear message that we will not have this anymore; the Belize Territorial Volunteers, The Belize Peoples Fund, the Belize Unity Alliance, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action and any other activist or regular Belizean on the street. It’s not just about tomorrow and many times we’ve seen protests that go nowhere. We intend for this to be a start of an advocacy to see results. So this is the first but we do have other advocacy plans in a better strategic plan that we have developed and this won’t be the last. It is the first event that we have for our advocacy plan in defending our borders and in protecting our people. Our people need justice and we will stand up and we will lead the way.”


HIPOLITO NOVELO

“How would you answer the criticism that you all are a group of activists acting on emotions and that whatever action you do may hinder or cause problems between the official and formal relationship that Guatemala and Belize had?”

NANCY MARIN

“The situation is political because our government should have been doing something and we are saying that, so they will take it politically. Emotional, I am not acting on emotion; I am acting on facts, I am acting as a Belizean activist, as a Belizean person that has had enough. Emotionally it does signify something to me because I’ve known Danny for most of his life, I know the family very well I am close to them so we will get emotional. For the Conorquie family it is definitely very emotional. I have no problem if they want to accuse me of being emotional, I am a woman, I am a mother, I feel and at times our emotion needs to be shown. I am not afraid to show emotion but the fact is that we are not moving on emotion, we are moving on a strategic plan that we have carefully thought out. I’ve been working with Friends for Conservation and Development and I volunteered my time for three years working them so I have patrolled that border with them. I know the facts, I have patrolled with the Belize Territorial Volunteers so I think I have a better grasp of the reality on the ground more than any of those diplomats that are working and that are fooling the people that we have diplomatic relations with Guatemala. We do not have diplomatic relations with Guatemala when we keep bending down and bowing over for them. If we had diplomatic relations this problem would not have gotten so much out of hand, we would not have lost the life of Danny.”

A bus will be leaving pound Yard Bridge in Belize City at seven o’clock tomorrow morning and it will leave San Ignacio at 1 pm to return to Belize City. You can contact Audrey Matura Shepherd at 223-3491 to make further arrangements.

LOVEFM


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#496252 - 09/30/14 07:17 PM Re: Tuesday’s Protest Is Based on Facts [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Click photos for lots more pictures!

This morning Belizeans gathered in Cayo for a protest/motorcade to the border.

After assembling at the Macal River Park they travelled west to the border to send a message to the governments of Belize and Guatemala. They vow that the life of Tourism Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie would not have been taken in vain. The group of about one hundred persons from all over the country arrived at the border singing "We noh want no Guatemala. We want our country free."

Channel 5


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#496277 - 10/01/14 10:40 AM Re: Tuesday’s Protest Is Based on Facts [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Protestors Want Justice For Danny

But, while the Belizean Government has been communicating with the Guatemalan Government through the diplomatic channels, the pressure groups say that it's not enough.

That's why they staged a motorcade from San Ignacio to the Benque Viejo Border today. That's where they held a protest in the parking lot on the Belize side of the Customs and Immigration, hoping to catch the attention of the OAS Officials, whose border headquarters were within shouting distance.

Today, 7News went west, where we followed the demonstration from start to finish. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Daniel Ortiz reporting
Everyone gathered at the Macal Park, greeting, and organizing themselves, representatives from the Belize Territorial Volunteers, the Belize People's Front, the Cayo Tour Guides Association, the Rod of Correction and a few PUP personalities.

But the Tour Guide's Association would not join the group on the motorcade.

Joe Awe - President, Cayo Tour Guides Association
"This is one of the most important protest of our history as tour guide association in the Cayo District."

Mike Rudon, Ch 5
"I understand that although you all are in support you all will not be going to the border with the protestors."

Joe Awe
"We had an emergency meeting with some of our members yesterday and we decided on two things; one, the first and most important thing is that we don't think his protest should neccessraily go to the border. This protest should go to the ministry of national security. As you heard on Channel 5 yesterday Col. Shepherd from the BDF said it is devastating blow to national security. I don't think that is a political statement - that is a fact."

Nevertheless, at a few minutes to 10, everyone joined the line behind the Police Escort, and started to form the motorcade.

It took about 40 minutes to travel from San Ignacio to the Western Border.

There, everyone gathered for a symbolic gesture in honor of the late Special Constable Danny Conorquie.

Jennifer Conorquie - Aunt of Deceased
"On behalf of my sister Jean, Danny's mother she really appreciate this. She is in tears but we just have to bear with her. Danny was loved by so many people and she want to thank the police officers in San Ignacio especially Mr. Thompson."

Reporter
"Did you have any idea that he was this much love by the community?"

Jean Conorquie - Danny's Mother
"No idea, I never knew that he was loved so much. I knew that Danny had lots of friends, but when I came out here and I heard over the radio how people talk and call in and thing and I said my son, I never knew that you were loved by so many people and that gave me the strength to come out. I feel good now because I see everybody taking part; the village came out to take part."

And then the leaders of the demonstration turned the rhetoric all the way up:

Neferteri Nancy Marin - Leader, Belize People's Front
"Our border is porous, they are taking us over. They talk about Nancy will disrupt diplomatic relations because I am bringing people to the border. Which diplomatic relations? We are being invaded and we are in denial. Our government is in denial. We are being invaded by Guatemalans slowly."

Wil Maheia - Belize Territorial Volunteers, South
"We as Belizeans have got to stand up for our country and for our borders. All of a sudden we find money to pay the mortgages but we can't find money to manned 50 miles of border line because all the incursions is happening between Garbutt's Falls and Gracias Adious. It's not happening up north where there is private lands because Barry Bowen and Yalbac and Program for Belize will not let incursions take place. You have 3 companies up there and they could man their border. We have a whole country to man between Garbutt's Falls and Gracias Adious and we are so incompetent that we cannot do that."

Orlando De La Fuente - Border Activist
"I think Mr. Elrington is being ill advised and just to watch him on TV it's really heart wrenching because I don't know how much further he could bend over anymore, I don't know. But it has to stop and I don't think the government realizes that their foreign polices does not reflect the will of the people. We need to change course people and we need to galvanize this energy right now. We need to refocus our energies and come up with a strategy moving forward."

Audrey Matura - Shepherd - Activist
"Many people don't want you all to know that just before the shooting with Danny the reason the BDF could not respond immediately was because the vehicle broke down. That is what Sedi Elrington should be clamoring about. How come we don't even gave them the proper tools? You know what else they don't want you all to know? They don't want you all to know that yes someone died now! But long before that our security personnel were being shot after; BDF and the special constable and the police and the people from FCD - that is the reality on the ground. It did not made the news because no one died and for those guides it has become an everyday norm of life. But they didn't want you all to know that, but those were the warning shots. Those were the warning shots that they never took serious."

But, the biggest criticism coming from the Government officials is that nobody should fan the flames of suspicion by suggesting that the culprits are Guatemalans. San Ignacio's Commanding Officer Assistant Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson had to retract such a statement. According to those who were gathered, ASP Thompson said what everybody was thinking, but too afraid to admit for the record.

Wil Maheia - Belize Territorial Volunteers, South
"In this country ladies and gentlemen, you see how far we have deteriorated hat not even the police officers can speak the truth because when Mr. Thompson spoke on Sunday he was not reading, he was speaking with authority, he was speaking from his heart and he was telling the truth, but in this country when you tell the truth you have to go back and retract the truth."

Jennifer Conorquie - Aunt of Deceased
"When he was at the funeral on Sunday and he repeat what he said - what he said is said, you can't take that back and when he said that at the funeral there was a big relief in our hearts when he said that and then he had to retract it back, but what is said is said already, you can't take that back and Mr. Thompson personally from our family we want to say thank you very much."

Neferteri Nancy Marin - Leader, Belize People's Front
"I have no doubt in my mind that Mr. Thompson was force to do that - I am 100% sure. Mr. Thompson is an exemplary officer. Here in San Ignacio we are extremely happy to have him here. You can feel the difference when you enter that police station. The PR is much better than we had for years. People have confidence in our law enforcement in this area with Mr. Thompson there. I know that he must be under a lot of pressure. I have not spoken to him about it personally, but I will say that the Belize People's Front is standing behind Mr. Thompson."

And to the officials waiting for indisputable proof about the Culprits who killed Danny Conorquie, the activists had this to say:

Audrey Matura - Shepherd - Activist "The evidence, if the people at national security want to publish it and you all should demand to see it. The evidence is that FCD who will willingly give information; every time they in that area and they track down - it leads to the Guatemalans. When the BDF and the police patrols go they have yet to tell you that they find none Guatemalans there, it's always Guatemalans there. The other physical evidence that you will find is that people garbage that they leave behind. Another key thing that I will challenge the people who really have doubt especially the foreign minister, if he still have doubts is that there are 5 horses that were captured from these men. If anybody knows anything about horses by the way and I had horses as a child is that once you train them and you give them a pattern - if you know what to do they will lead you right back to where they always go rest, so left on their own they will always go back to their trace. If the Prime Minister any problem we can put him on one of the horses and let the horse lead him to where that came from. If you are asking me about evidence, as a persecutor if I was called to persecute this case and was ask to advice on how to get the evidence, that's what I would do."

Wil Maheia - Belize Territorial Volunteers, South
"They are only like a few hundred of them that really around the Caracol area working, so we know who they are. If the OAS or the government or anybody serious about tracking them and serious about working with the Guatemalan counterparts - they could find the killer of Mr. Conorquie if they really want to. It's not like looking for a needle in a haystack."

Joe Awe - President, Cayo Tour Guides Association
"No Belizeans not even the gangs in Belize City or anywhere there are gangs ever pull a gun and killed a police officer, so this is somebody that really didn't care."

By our head count, there 120 persons who attended the protest this afternoon.

Channel 7


Belizeans Gather Near Western Border in Protest of Senseless Murder

Tourism Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie was killed last week Thursday, murdered by bandits who then fled over the Guatemalan border. The outcry has been tremendous…the outrage at the senseless, tragic invasion and execution boiling over in every quarter except perhaps the most important – the halls of government. Conorquie was buried with full police honours on Sunday, but the repercussions of his death continue to build momentum. This morning, Belizeans came together in his name and protested at the Western Border – a message to Guatemala, and a closer home to our policy-makers in office. Our News Five team was there and Mike Rudon has the story.

Mike Rudon, Reporting

They gathered at nine this morning at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio. There weren’t many – just representatives of various groups, political and otherwise, including the territorial volunteers, the Belize People’s Front, the People’s National Party, the Vision Inspired by the People, BGYEA, the Belize Unity Alliance and other politicians and patriots. The reason behind the gathering is not a complicated one.

Bobby Lopez

Bobby Lopez, PR Officer, Vision Inspired by the People

“To raise the awareness of a situation that has been overlooked for too long, and unfortunately the death of our own had to occur – an execution really, and even that has gotten very cold response, if I may use that word, from our authorities, and so the VIP could not have stayed out of this.”

Nancy Marin

Nancy Marin, President, Belize People’s Front

“We are asking for justice for Danny. He is the first lawman killed in the line of duty by Guatemalans. We have no doubt about that. The family needs to be respected. They need to be compensated. We need to give at least equal treatment, if not better than they did to Guatemala. And the second reason is that we need a stronger foreign policy. We need to protect our borders, and those are the two reasons we are here today.”

Nigel Petillo, President, BGYEA

“One of our armed forces…one of the members of our armed forces has been killed, and we have every reason to believe da wah Guatemalan, but yet we wah hide behind that. So I am here as a concerned citizen. I deh yah fu support the situation, and I am calling on all Belizeans to be here as well.”

With flags waving proudly, the group then made its way by motorcade along the George Price Highway towards Benque Viejo del Carmen and the Western Border. It made for an impressive sight, as led by Police escort, proud Belizeans took the time to join in a united cause. Young Danny Conorquie was not present, but his spirit was the driving force behind the movement today. Marching on the border point with resolve, these few patriots sang a song infused with new meaning today.

As we told you earlier, the motive behind the march is simple. And so is the message. These courageous few want to see change. Not in government, because the agenda today was not political – but a change in policy where Guatemala and our border are concerned.

Nigel Petillo

Nigel Petillo

“I want we go back to the old days when we had patriots, not just politicians. We want people who wah listen. Long time we deh talk bout this. Wil Maheia deh talk bout this with the territorial volunteers long time…he deh watch the border. These things have been happening. What we want da the right ears to listen.”

Orlando de la Fuente, Territorial Volunteers, OW Branch

“I woulda wah see the government change the policy from one of appeasement to one of assertion, where we actually claim our border and where we don’t turn a blind eye and try to accommodate the Guatemalans so much. I think steadily our position has eroded and Guatemala has strengthened their claim against Belize.”

Reporter

Orlando de la Fuente

“Could you give me your gut reaction to the comments by the Foreign Minister?”

Orlando de la Fuente

“It’s pathetic bwoy. It’s sad, it’s sad. Every time that man is on the news it just makes me sad.”

Charles Leslie

Charles Leslie, Belize Unity Alliance

“I want the government to take the necessary steps to ensure that this never happens again…ever. and we also need to make sure that we tighten up our participation with the Guatemalan officials so that they also can do something about this incursion into Belize so that we can mitigate, alleviate and hopefully eliminate any more of this happening. Because Mr. Conorquie is dead! He was murdered by Guatemalan invaders into Belize and Belizean soil. We cannot do anything to bring back his life and his family will suffer this tragedy for a long time to come.”

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Activist

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“I think that we need to make a stand and let our government know that we know that it was a Guatemalan who killed Danny. We know that you all are not looking after our border. You have turned the BDF on us. We are asking you to put them back on our border and turn them westwards…and also because we need to stand in solidarity with the family of Danny Conorquie and the many other law-enforcement officers who have had to be working these areas across the border.”

The man who brought these people together today could not be here. But his family was. They are still grieving for this young hero killed in the line of duty, buried just two days ago. But there are here because this is where they had to be.

Jean Conorquie

Jean Conorquie, Mother of Danny Conorquie

“I felt a relief when I saw the funeral that Danny got, because I didn’t know Danny had so many friends. Even the high man in his job talk good about Danny. That’s why it hurts me as a ma because every morning Danny get up for work he always tell me ma I wah see you later. That day he never came home. I want to say thinks to everybody who supported Danny. And with all this I feel much better even though I’m crying because I miss Danny.”

Jennifer Conorquie

Jennifer Conorquie, Aunt of Danny Conorquie

“This is not political. We just wanted to get justice for my nephew. We want everything to come to a closure. We buried him already, but we just want it to end so we can grieve as a family. We felt the love out here so we said we are not going to stay home, we need to come out here. No matter what happens, we will be out here today.”

The group assembled peacefully and disbanded peacefully at one this afternoon – message sent. Though only time will tell if it was received. Mike Rudon for News Five.

We note that protestors were not allowed access to the adjacency zone immediately across from the Belize border. 

Channel 5


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