COLA calls for Compol’s head! Says he allows politicians to interfere with police work

By Alexis R. Milan
Staff Reporter

The Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action (COLA) held a press briefing on Thursday in front of the Queen Street Police Station calling for the resignation of Police Commissioner, Allen Whylie.

COLA claimed to be in possession of documents, which implicate high-level politicians in interference with police work.

COLA President, Geovanni Brackett said that two high-ranking police officers called him and provided him with the documents, which include evidence that police officers are subject to intimidation and victimization by political figures, telling them how to do their job.
According to Brackett, the letter presented to the media on Thursday is one of many documents that shed light on the situation in the Belize Police Department.

The letter came from the Police Association and was addressed to the Ombudsman. It was signed by Police Association President Corporal Eldon Arzu, and listed several instances of political interference.
According to COLA, the letter includes instances spanning the tenure of two police commissioners including David Henderson and the current ComPol, Allen Whylie.

In one instance where Minister of State, Mark King was arrested in Corozal for a brawl with a police officer, PC Ramos who witnessed the brawl was transferred to Belize City.
The letter alleges that this was done after senior officers tried to convince Ramos not to participate in King’s prosecution.

Ramos has since been placed on interdiction with half-pay and has been made to face a tribunal, which has been prolonged because the Advisory Council intervened to remove the original presenting officer who had declared before the tribunal that Ramos was guilty, the letter said.
Another case of interference presented by the letter, was a situation in Douglas Village where a Police Constable Castillo arrested several persons. The letter claims that Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega ordered him to take no further action.

Castillo subsequently received a transfer letter moving him to San Ignacio. But the Police Association intervened and Castillo was able to be transferred to Dangriga, a place of his own choosing.
Brackett said COLA will look at the other documents carefully before releasing them to the public.

COLA said there were also other ministers implicated in the interference of police work and even instances of interference from the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie.

Brackett said there was one reported incident in which former Minister of State, Elvin Penner was implicated in intervening on behalf of some Lebanese nationals who were arrested on suspicion of human trafficking but were subsequently released.

This, according to COLA, was done during Whylie’s tenure as CEO in the Ministry of National Security. He blamed Whylie for punishing a female police officer for carrying out her duties in a professional manner.

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