BELIZE-PROBE-Government orders investigation into alleged police misconduct

BELIZE CITY, Belize, CMC – Minister of National Security Carlos Perdomo has announced the appointment of a three-member team to probe allegations of unprofessional conduct leveled against the Belize Police Department by the family of a murdered man.

Christopher Galvez, 23, was shot to death while sitting in a friend’s car at a boatyard on the city’s south side on December 22.

Police initially reported the incident as a robbery because his jewelry and wallet were stolen.

However, following a post mortem examination, which appeared to contradict accounts given to authorities by the friend of the murder victim, Andre Aguilar, Galvez’ family members accused the police of involvement in a cover up and of protecting the killer.

Family members also accused an unnamed police officer of harassing them since they started to speak out publicly.

The Inquiry team is led by the Deputy National Security Coordinator Oliver Del Cid and also includes the Ministry’s Administrative Officer Jennifer Saldivar-Ramirez and the Police Liaison Officer, Assistant Superintendent Marlon Allen.

The four-point terms of reference of the Inquiry team includes the investigation of alleged misconduct by the police in their handling of the Galvez murder investigation; to investigate whether any external interference occurred resulting in the release of the detainee Andre Aguilar; and to determine whether any procedures or laws were breached by his release.

The team will also investigate allegations of threat made against the Galvez family by an unnamed police officer.

An official statement issued by the Government Press Office said that at the conclusion of the inquiry a report would be submitted to the National Security Minister.

Perdomo has assured the Belizean people that “the Ministry will not tolerate or condone any unprofessional behavior and or neglect of proper procedures by personnel of the Belize Police Department”.

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