BELIZE CITY, Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
The notorious Gang Suppression Unit has become nationally recognised as a rogue unit of the UDP which conducts abuses and illegal raids more than it is known for any effective strategy to fight crime.
Last week, elements of the GSU further smeared their reputation when they carried out yet another attack on a Belize City neighborhood, which from all accounts was unprovoked and unnecessary.
Arthur Young, the reputed ‘don’ of Taylor’s Alley, and 5 of his followers were in the area after 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21st, merely enjoying the company of their friends and families after doing work as part of the Government’s “gang truce”, when armed, camouflage-dressed Gang Suppression Unit officers arrived, and they weren’t there to say ‘hello’.
The GSU officers decided the Taylor’s Alley boys were up to something or other, and pounced for a preemptive kill. But there was no danger to be found; not guns or drugs around, but the GSU didn’t seem to care. In their view, six ‘dangerous’, unpredictable, men were around, and discipline and respect had to be meted out to them, and it came in many varied forms: boots to the body and to the head, being ‘water-boarded’ with blasts of ice-cold bagged water, and tased all over their bodies. The injuries that ultimately followed the attack were severe, many beyond description.
It is, by many accounts, the final straw for a neighborhood that desperately wants to, but isn’t being given the opportunity to make a change, and an organization that is now permanently the enemy of potential progress in this ongoing situation. Young personally described his deep-seated frustration with the GSU’s brutal and unprovoked attacks, and made it crystal clear that, as much as he desires peace, “….they are trying to turn us into monsters, [so] they have to watch out, because if we turn into monsters, then there would be a lot of bloodshed, and we don’t want to do that.’”
He also alluded that they know most of the GSU officers, and “where they live”,
yet will not encourage or brook any sort of retaliatory actions, only advising his peers to ‘stay strong and focused’ on keeping the peace.