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Police Torture stories in Belize!

August 23 rd., 2007 Belize, Central America and member of CARICOM.


In the references below, Ralph Fonseca, is the Cabinet Minister in charge of Internal Security in the country of Belize.

Most confessions are coerced by beatings most newspaper articles allege, as a substitute for investigative type techniques. There is no recourse in law. Or none I've heard of, in fifty years since Colonial Days. Half the time the police are right in their guess as to the criminal perpetrators. So the system works, sort of?


The item below was contributed by Editor of the Independent Newspaper in Belize, and copied to the listserve (The Belize Culture List ) a debating and chit chat forum on development in Belize. We re-copy the allegations here!
This message sent to the Bz-Culture Mailing List from Trevor Vernon <>:

> Teen Charged for Stealing Ralph Fonseca's Computer Alleges> Police Brutality


> The Ladyville office of Belize Rural Central Area
Representative and Police Minister Ralph Fonseca was
burglarized over the weekend. A computer was stolen and
while it wasnt announced by police, a teenager has been charged. He is 17-year-old Edward McKay. He was detained on Saturday night and wasnt released until this morning when he was charged. Thats over 72 hours in police detention and Edward McKay told us this evening that he was tortured and he showed us injuries which he says proves it.


Edward McKay, Alleges Police Brutality

When they said I went into Ralph Fonseca's office, I said
I didnt know anything about and after that they went for a piece of stick and they started to whap me up in my back.
And when they started to whap me up in my back, they took
me downstairs to go and take a statement and then they
locked me up back until Sunday. Sunday they took me out
back again and then they took me way to Ladyville to go and beat me this time with iron. They had policemen beating me at the Ladyville Police Station.
Coming on to Tuesday, the policemen took me upstairs back, Paloma, Grinage, and a whole little set of them who work with them in grey and black. They took me upstairs and they started to beat me up. They put a handcuff on my hand, put my hand behind the chair, had my hand all marked up; my
belly, my back. And after that they started to put garbage
bags over my face, tore off my undershirt, put it in my
mouth, covered my eye, put the garbage bag and I couldnt
catch my breath and thing and they told me that at 8
clock they would take me up the road and just kill me.
Edward McKay was this morning additionally charged along
with his 15 year old brother Travis and 17-year-old Rene
Chavarria for burglary after a report was made by Victoria
Munoz that her jewelry and a DVD player were stolen, also
over the weekend. Chavarria and the younger McKay says were picked up yesterday and they too were tortured.
Travis McKay, Alleges Police Brutality. Yesterday they picked me up and Rene right there. Paloma and all of them came to my house and they said me and a guy went to break into Ralphs office. Afterwards they told me to put on my clothes and to go with them to the station.
When I reached they started to beat me up, they whapped me
up in my back with sticks. Some of them knocked me in my
head and they let my own homeboys beat me up. I knew
nothing about this burglary report they are talking about.
When they brought me from my house, they took me by
Haulover Bridge and they told us they would take us there
and killed us.

Stephanie Usher, Mother of McKay Brothers
I know to my heart they didnt do it because I know where
they were and I am upset at the brutality and the way they
handled it because I was right there. I asked them
information concerning my son and they didn&#8217;t give me any information. They handled me just like a piece of floor
cloth. I always heard about police brutality but until I
saw it happen to my kids, I believe it.
Police reportedly recovered Munozs stolen DVD player.

Press Officer G. Michael Reid says the family should file a complaint. The McKay brothers mother Stephanie Usher told
us she has appealed to the Ombudsman for help.

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Allegations of beatings and torture come fairly regular in the local newspapers. Here is a record of them.