“An independent commission of inquiry is critically important if the police are to remove the cloud of suspicion hanging over their heads,” says Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca Thursday.
Fonseca’s comments followed Tuesday’s quadruple murder of George Street gang affiliates, a crime which many members of the community and the leaders of the said gangs have accused the police department’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) of committing.
Fonseca said if the police are to carry out their work effectively they must first remove all suspicion from the public’s minds about their involvement in the brutal murders, and has, therefore, called for a Commission of Inquiry into the matter.
He recommended that the government should use senior judges from the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal, and other social interest bodies to form a neutral and objective group to conduct the inquiry and report back to the public within 21 days.
Fonseca has also issued a public statement on Wednesday in which he condemned the government’s Gang Truce arrangement.
He said: “The Government must not enter into any new Gang Truce arrangement which involves payment of money or other such incentives and compromises to individuals or groups of individuals who have threatened and continue to threaten retaliation, and remain committed to destabilizing our society.”
His remarks came in direct response to the Prime Minister’s comments at Tuesday’s press conference, where he announced he had met with the gang leaders in an effort to keep the peace and avoid any retaliation.
Fonseca said the government’s gang truce initiative is a “wrong headed and counter productive” practice that must be abandoned.
He added that the law-abiding citizens of Belize need “immediate reassurance from their political, religious and social leadership that they remain our number one priority in these challenging times.”
He went on to extend an invitation to the government to take a bipartisan approach, in which they also collaborate with the council of churches and other social leaders as they enter the neighborhoods where gang violence is most prominent.
“I’m not trying to score any political points with this,” Fonseca said, “to keep the issue from becoming political the best thing to do is to stand together.”