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#377324 - 05/18/10 08:19 AM Operation Jaguar In Effect!  
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Since early this morning, you may have seen the BDF and Police patrols all over the place and the news was sent out this morning Police are on a major operation. It is called operation jaguar and it was launched in Belize City at the direction of the chairman of the National Security Council, Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to an official release, "The Operation, which will be conducted for a sustained period of time, will target high crime areas in Belize City and is intended to provide safety and security for residents in these areas and restore public confidence in the Government's anti-crime efforts. It is expected that this Operation will be successful in identifying and disrupting gang activity that is primarily responsible for the violence in the city. "

Operation Jaguar also involves the re-assignment of additional Police officers as well as Coast Guard personnel and more than 100 additional soldiers from the Belize Defence Force, including Belize Special Assignment Group (BSAG) a police special team. A number of strategies will be used, including increased stop and search operations, static and roving vehicular checkpoints, vehicle and house searches, static patrols, and combination of foot, bike and mobile patrols.

Channel 7

#377505 - 05/19/10 10:36 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
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Looking impressive on the streets yesterday. Cops, soldiers, dogs. Issue being discussed is are we to become a police state in the process of flushing out these gangs? Are the combined forces able to balance their actions with the constitution? Make the right decisions?

Belize based travel specialist
#377517 - 05/19/10 11:05 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Katie Valk]  
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THOUGHT: We cry that something must be done then cry when something is done.

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#377722 - 05/20/10 08:30 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: ScubaLdy]  
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Operation Jaguar Stalks Crime, Nicely

One issue raised inconclusively at last night's meeting was Operation Jaguar. We say inconclusively because panelists weren't quite sure which side to come down on. Many feared that the operation was bring down an iron fist upon the city's Southside, but so far there have only been 10 raids on houses. Assitant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon is leading the charge and he says the deployment has been based on intelligence and targeted for results.

ACP Elodio Aragon - In Charge Operation Jaguar
"So far we have had numerous foot patrols and vehicle patrols in the Southside. We have just started on Monday, we stopped and searched a number of persons. We also searched a number of houses. These houses that were searched were based on intelligence that we received. Our success will depend on largely on the amount of incidents reported in this area. At the end of the day we will look at the statistics and that should give us an idea of what we are doing right and what we are not doing. From there we could adjust and improve on what we are doing. Presently we have a company of about 70-80 BDF officers along with 30 police officers and officers from the Coast Guard. We are looking roughly about 100 plus persons on this operation. There are more BDF than police officers, what has happened is that we have put the additional BDF officers that we have on the streets. We have sworn them in as special constables. They have all the powers of arrest as police officers. We have deployed in specific areas to assist. We have put the Police and BDF officers in strategic areas that we know are areas of concern to us. "

Lt. Col David Jones, BDF
"We are using the soldiers to support the police in the areas where murders have been committed quite frequently, where a lot of robberies and jackings have occured. We are trying to reduce the crime rate in the City at the moment. We are going to sustain this operation we don't want to specify when its going to stop. This should provide some level of comfort to them. The soldiers are here to support the police. They've got their rules and regulation in regards to opening fire towards any civilians. The soldiers are going to be professional at all times. "

To add to what Aragon said, there have been about 200 stops and searches, about 60 vehicles were also stopped and searched. There have been 6 arrests and only Small seizures of drugs and no seizures of firearms. Roughly 100 persons from the BDF, Police and Coast Guard are deployed. Police will try and sustain the operation until there is a reduction in crime.Channel 7

#377929 - 05/22/10 09:48 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
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The Tale of the Jaguar

Since dawn on Monday morning, police and BDF have swarmed the streets in crime ridden areas of Southside Belize City. It's Operation Jaguar, but unlike its namesake, this police and BDF effort has proven so far that it is not predatory, it's more like peace-keeping. We found out more today when Operation Commanders Assistant Commissioner Elodio Aragon and Lieutenant Cornel David Jones held a press briefing.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Jr.
"Operation Jaguar was planned and launched in the early hours of Monday 17th May 2010 as a direct response to the surge of crime and gun related violence that plagues the City of Belize."

Over 100 security personnel have been deployed and in a week the operation has amassed some impressive statistics

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Jr.
"The ongoing Jaguar Operation has seen over 621 persons stopped and searched, 25 houses searched over 25 vehicles searched and have made 7 arrests, seized 2 kilos of suspected cocaine, a total of 7.1 grams of crack cocaine and 995.7 grams of cannabis. Furthermore since the inception of the operation we have seen a substantial decrease of gun related violence. In this operation Jaguar, we have not recovered any firearms as such from this specific operation. That does not mean to say that we are not getting the job done."

And getting the job done means....

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Jr.
"This Operation was geared like I mentioned before, working to restore the confidence, ensuring we have high visibility of police and security personnel on the ground and to deal with persons who are bent on committing criminal acts and dealing with well known criminals to the police."

Maintaining that high visibility has a cost and a consequence on the deployment of the BDF who form about 66% of the security forces deployed for operation Jaguar:

Lt. Col. David Jones
"Because the BDF is very flexible we can move men from different locations and still maintain our territorial integrity. With the primary function that we have to maintain our borders, we are not taking any resources from there. We are always flexible to use men that are close by to respond to any situation. So it doesn't take away resources from elsewhere."

But eventually having a company of soldiers here on the streets rather than in the jungles must take a toll because this operation will continue:

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Jr.
"Operation Jaguar will be sustained as long as it is deemed necessary by the National Security Council."

As long as it is deemed necessary - and that is until crime numbers go down:

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon, Jr.
"I think to a large extent that will be dictated by the incidents of reported crime and the kind of crime that we see taking place in the Southside."

Lt. Col. David Jones
"We are looking at the major crimes, murders and gun related incidents. So far since this operation has started we've had no injuries that has been related to gun violence and that is our main objective to reduce murders, high criminal activity that is gun related within the high crime area in Belize City."

But how long is that - and what will it mean for the BDF?

Jules Vasquez
"You have bring Operation Thunder all those years ago is when BDF first came on the streets and they haven't left yet. I am saying are you concerned from a BDF perspective that increasingly we are domesticating the responsibility of the BDF, or alternately militarizing the streets."

Lt. Col. David Jones
"It is a concern for us, primarily because it's not our primary function. However we are in times that there needs to be different measures to address certain situations. When the solution does come up to take us off the streets, that will depend on strategy. But it will be a big problem if we reached the scenario whereby we need to keep the BDF on the streets which maybe is the perception now and it will definitely be a concern. It is a concern for the soldiers, it's also a concern for the public that this is the direction Belize is going to, which, personally, as a soldier, I would not like to see that happen."

Fact is this deployment may be comforting to some but it is by no means a solution, this is just one very big band aid

Lt. Col. David Jones
"This operation that we are on is not the solution to the crime situation in the country. There are a lot of issues that needs to be addressed as well. But we as the security forces are doing our part as much to be part of a national strategy."

According to ACP Aragon, all house searches are conducted with warrants. And Jones clarified that while all the soldiers participating have been sworn in as special constables, indeed they have no police-specific training, and that is why the regular police force continues to take the lead in arrests and dealing with criminals with the soldiers only there as backups.

Channel 7

#377930 - 05/22/10 09:49 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
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Five days of jaguar prowling the city streets for crime

It was launched as an initiative to combat crime and restore confidence in the deadly neighborhoods of Belize City, and according to the security forces, Operation Jaguar has had some measure of success in its first five days. While no high powered weapons have been removed to make the streets safer, no major crimes have been reported this week. News Five’s Delahnie Bain has a report on what the mission has accomplished.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Operation Jaguar is in its fifth day and its showing some effect on the crime. Today the men in charge of the operation from both the Police Department and the Belize Defence Force updated the media on their progress.

ACP Elodio Aragon Jr., In Charge of Mgmt Services, Belize Police Dept

ACP Elodio Aragon Jr.

“The ongoing Jaguar Operation has seen over six hundred and twenty-one persons stopped and searched, twenty-five houses searched, over a hundred and five vehicles seized and has made seven arrests and seized two kilos of suspected cocaine, a total of seven point one grams of crack cocaine and nine hundred and ninety-five point seven grams of cannabis. Furthermore, since the inception of the operation, we have seen a substantial decrease of gun related violence.”

Lt. Col. David Jones, B.D.F. Bomb Expert

“We’re looking at the major crimes like murders, gun related incidents. So far, since the operation has started we’ve had no injuries that has been related to gun violence and that is our main objective; to reduce murders, high criminal activity that is gun related within the high crime area in Belize City.”

So how does the BDF factor into the operation in the field?

Lt. Col. David JonesLt. Col. David Jones

“They are sworn in as Special Constables, but they haven’t had the training as special constables. Our soldiers do have training in internal security and working in urban operations. But when it comes to arrests that will take place, that will be under the guidance of the police department. They are there to support in the eventuality that something happens to a policeman, a soldier is there that has been sworn in as a constable to deal with the issue.”

But having the B.D.F. soldiers on the police beat raises another question. Who’s doing the job of keeping the borders secure?

Lt. Col. David Jones

“These B.D.F. soldiers that are working on the streets have been drawn from different locations within the force. Because the B.D.F. is very flexible, we can move men from different places and still maintain our territorial integrity. So the primary function that we have to maintain our borders, we’re not taking any resources from there.”

While Operation Jaguar is showing potential of putting a dent on the number of crimes in the city’s hot spots, Lieutenant Colonel David says it is only a part of the national strategy.

Lt. Col. David Jones

“This operation that we’re on is not the solution to the crime situation in the country. There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed as well. But we, as the security forces, are playing our part of what should be part of a national strategy. And that will be a part of a national strategy and that will be the responsibility of the National Security Council.”

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Operation Jaguar will continue to bring to bear on the criminal element and we will continue to revise on our crime strategy and tactics as is necessary to ensure that we maintain the upper hand and restore the confidence, safety and security of Belize City residents.”

The National Security Council says it will sustain the operation—financially and otherwise—until it is no longer required. How that will be determined depends on the behavior of the criminals. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

#378297 - 05/26/10 07:41 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2003
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Katie Valk Offline
Katie Valk  Offline
No still no gun violence in Belize City since.

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#378842 - 06/02/10 08:37 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Katie Valk]  
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Commentary: Operation Jaguar is only the beginning but not the end in solving crimes in Belize

By Wellington C Ramos

In the news last week it was reported that, since Operation Jaguar was launched in Belize, violent crimes and murders dropped in Belize City for a couple of weeks. This is because the criminals who were committing the crimes went into hiding because they are trying to avoid being caught by the law enforcement authorities for the crimes they already committed and the ones they were planning to commit. As soon as the government discontinues the operation, these criminals will be back on the streets of Belize City doing the same thing. Some of these criminals might also decide to take their criminal activities to other districts outside of Belize City where people do not know them.

This is something they would do reluctantly and mostly during the night when it is dark because, if they go to the villages and towns during the day, the residents of those places would more than likely watch them from the time they arrived in their communities, alert the other residents and monitor their activities. I had the opportunity to listen to our prime minister address the issue of crime this week on Love FM radio station and I was pleased to hear that the government of Belize has other follow up initiatives in the making that they are planning to implement to back up Operation Jaguar.

I am hoping that in the long term planning of crime reduction in our country the following issues are included: community policing, street associations, criminal intelligence division, criminal record office, paramilitary unit, police swat team, tougher gang laws, maximum security prison, capital punishment, effective prosecutions, unemployment, police boys club and youth programs. There will be other initiatives on the table but the importance of these initiatives and the cost of them will always weigh into their implementation.

I consider these initiatives extremely necessary in order for a long term crime prevention plan to be effective in our country. The criminals that we have in Belize today are bold and brazen and have no respect for the lives, property, safety, laws and citizens of our country. This is being demonstrated by them daily on the streets of Belize City. All Belizeans must now come together and declare war against them.

I will now outline the positive effect of some of the areas I have recommended, beginning with community policing -- to build a positive long term relationship and trust between members of the Police Force and the general public to have both groups work together to prevent and detect crimes in their communities.

Street associations -- to have residents of each street in every community form a street association working with the community police regularly to ensure that their streets remain free of crimes and safe.

Criminal intelligence -- no police force can be effective without a criminal intelligence unit because the key in solving crimes is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Currently, there is no criminal intelligence unit in the Belize police force and this has to be corrected immediately. This office will have all the records of the criminals and would conduct daily surveillance on hard core criminals to monitor their daily activities and deter them from committing crimes.

The Criminal Records Office will have and maintain files on all criminals in Belize and get updates from Interpol on foreign criminals who are wanted by their respective countries and trying to hide out in our country. The Belize Police Force needs to establish an ongoing relationship with the police departments of the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Jamaica, Nigeria, Taiwan, Honduras, Columbia and the United States to monitor these criminals who are wanted in these respective countries and are probably back and forth committing crimes in all of them. This will also assist our government in knowing these people’s background before we grant them Belizean citizenship. As a matter of fact, we should not grant Belizean citizenship to any foreigner unless they have submitted a copy of their criminal record from their country of birth and where they last resided.

A paramilitary unit or a police SWAT team is needed because of the type of crimes these criminals are committing and the kind of weapons they are using to commit these crimes that they bring in from other countries. Whenever you have drugs in a country there will be weapons and money coming into the country at all times from various countries in the world. The average police officer is not trained sufficiently to do the kind of work military personnel can do.

Gang laws -- penalties for an individual or individuals who start or join a gang should be severe but a more serious crime for the founder of a gang. Known gang meeting places should be dismantled by the paramilitary unit and the individuals found on these premises should be brought to trial for engaging in such illegal activities. Programs must be implemented in our schools to discourage our children from joining gangs and to join other positive youth groups.

I will not dwell into the other issues outlined at this time but they have been in the news over a period of time for open discussion. Belize will become a member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), effective in the month of June this year.

In the future, the final court will decide on the fate of our murderers when it comes to capital punishment. With the rate of crime in the Caribbean countries today, especially with these senseless murders that are being committed, daily citizens have ran out of patience with these criminals. My best guess is that hanging will be resumed in most of these countries to send a strong message to these murderers that if you kill an innocent person for no justifiable reason, your life will be taken likewise.

Criminals will not be given the opportunity no more to go to jail and boast about the amount of people they killed, while they were outside terrorizing our streets and creating havoc for law abiding citizens. For those who continue to say that this is not the solution to this matter, just hope and pray that one of your loved ones do not fall as a victim to these non-caring criminals pretty soon. For when that day comes, you will get to feel like all the other Belizeans who have endured this pain and suffering over the years.

#379518 - 06/09/10 08:35 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
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Major David Jones

Operation Jaguar needs the cooperation of the public

While it has been dubbed a success, it is not yet certain for how much longer the operation will be sustained. The one hundred or so soldiers and police personnel that have been on the beat as part of Operation Jaguar have only decreased by a small number. But during the three week span, they have been able to seize over seven thousand dollars in suspected illicit activity, over two thousand five hundred grams of cannabis, and five kilos of cocaine. Where the operation did not yield a high stash in was the seizure of weapons, with only the collection of one nine millimeter pistol, one point twenty-two pistol, a homemade shotgun and a sizeable amount of assorted ammunition. During that time, twenty four traffic tickets were also issued for road violations, three hundred and ninety-eight vehicles were searched, and almost two thousand people stopped and search as well. But only forty-three arrests were made. It is an effort that needs the public support says Major David Jones.

Major David Jones, B.D.F.

“We really need the cooperation of the public or any entity out there that can give us assistance in relations to where these guns are being hidden or any weapons that can be used, or criminals that are conducting these acts. If they give us that information, then we can assist and we can move forward from there. It is going to take a good strategy to say ok this is the way we are going to pull out and this is what is going to replace it or what is going to replace operation jaguar when we actually pull out. But it is a measuring stick as to the way forward. And so the horizon, we are not sure when or what time we are going to move out, but we are aware that eventually we will move out.”

Operation Jaguar is being sustained through the budget provided to the Police and B.D.F. A.C.P. Aragon says that when the project hits the one month mark next week, they will revise whether there needs to be a supplementary budget for it and whether or not it will need a follow-up effort to replace it. In the meantime, if you see a crime in effect or know of one being planned you can call the Jaguar hotline at: 633-0425 or any of the other police hotline numbers.

Channel 5

#379519 - 06/09/10 08:35 AM Re: Operation Jaguar In Effect! [Re: Marty]  
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Jaguar Operatives say it deters crime and made plenty seizures

Elodio Aragon Jr.

It was initiated on May sixteenth and its objective was to suppress major crime such as murders, attempted murders and put a cap on gang activity. And since then, those in charge of the joint B.D.F., Police effort called Operation Jaguar say it has achieved its goal and will continue until it transforms into another effort to stem street crime and violence in Belize City. During a press conference at Militia Hall in Belize City this afternoon, the leaders of the operation, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr., and Major David Jones, said over the past three weeks of the project’s life, not only has it deterred violent crime but it has netted significant amounts of seizures in cash, drugs but only a few weapons.

A.C.P. Elodio Aragon Jr., Head, Operation Jaguar

“This operation is based on intelligence. Majority of our arrests has been for possession or drugs and for drug trafficking. And so these people who get arrested for possession of drugs and drug trafficking, those are serious offences, serious charges and as such majority of those persons if they do not make bail, they find themselves remanded. When it comes to the aspect of guns, ammunition on the streets of Belize, we know that there are firearms out there and we are doing our best to take them off the streets. Now a lot of this is based on intelligence so the intelligence aspect of policing must come into play to bear on what we do out there. Because we are actually the police officers, the B.D.F. and the coast guard who respond and react based on intelligence. So to a large extent we are largely dependent on the intelligence and the assistance of the general public. Now this operation jaguar was no secret when it was coming out and as such I am quite sure that many people that had illegal firearms must have hidden these things. But this is where we are working on a daily basis with the police intelligence and B.D.F. to look at where we could come up with the proper intelligence to ensure that we take some of these guns off the street. it is not an easy job, but we are working on it.”

Major David Jones, B.D.F.

Major David Jones

“From the time the public has been aware of this operation I suspect that these guys would start to hide the weapons. But the main aim for this operation was to reduce the crime rate especially the shootings that were happening in Belize City and reduce the amount of murders. Just prior to this operation, there had been quite a number of murders occurring—sometimes twice a day, sometimes three times for the day. Since this operation has started we haven’t had murders occur within the areas that jaguar has been occurring. So, it’s mainly as a deterrent and to keep the area of Belize City that has been ridden with high crime safer and we have been achieving this so far. And we will not stay specific within any area as well. If there is something that needs to be responded to outside of jaguar’s area, we will move. If there is something on the highway that we have the capability to move and to deal, we will also move and deal with it because if resources are tied up with the regular police duties, we are going to use our resources to respond to any criminal acts that are within the city or outside city limits.”

Channel 5

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