GSU McAfee-raid results in global black-eye for Belize
Friday, May 11, 2012, 13:19
BELIZE CITY, Monday, May 7th, 2012
The Belize Tourist Board spends millions of tax dollars every year to market our country as a peaceful, loving, fun and relaxing place to visit. But in one fell swoop, all that positive marketing can go up in smoke – all it takes is one negative report to hit the internet, or much worse, go viral.
And like a virus, the heavy-handed raid carried out by the Barrow Administration’s notorious Gang Suppression Unit on the home and property of anti-virus guru, and multi-millionaire American-citizen John McAfee, has spread across the world– sending off terrible signals about Belize.
The gang of GSU and Belize Defense Force officers that rained down on McAfee’s property in Tower Hill, Orange Walk at dawn on Monday, April 30th said they were looking for drugs and guns. They handcuffed McAfee, shot at his dogs, and showed him documents they said was a warrant to conduct the search. After searching his property, the officers found ten weapons including seven 12-gauge pump action shotguns (one with a scope), one 12-gauge single action shotgun, a Taurus 9-mm pistol and a 9-mm pistol. Five air rifles with scopes, resembling sniper rifles that use 6.26mm ammo were also found.
McAfee said that apart from two weapons, which are licensed to him, the rest are licensed to his security company, Belize Ecological Society.
Along with McAfee were six other persons: his 17 year old girlfriend; one of his worker’s common-law wife Princesa Ericson and security guards: Emerson Michael, Emerson Dominguez, Austin Allen, and Tyron Morales.
McAfee said that because of the high crime in Belize he has had to take steps to secure his property and life.
At first the Police claimed McAfee didn’t have a license for one of the weapons and they charged him with being in possession of an unlicensed firearm, but the charge was dropped after McAfee produced a license. This is despite the Belmopan Police Headquarters having no record for such a license.
The Police are also investigating whether McAfee was operating an illegal anti-biotic laboratory on the property. McAfee claims the lab was closed in 2009 when his chief researcher returned to the United States. Samples were taken and are being analyzed by forensic analysts.
After the search, McAfee was taken to the Queen Street Police Station in Belize City and released at 2:00am on Tuesday, following phone calls made to the United States Embassy.
This kind of barbaric assault has become the trademark style of the Barrow Administration’s GSU. Enough harm is already done by criminals roaming the streets, for law-abiding citizens to have to contend with the lawless behavior of Police officials.
Belize’s image is feeling the worst of the impact. Since last Wednesday, when news of the raid went public, scores of reports have appeared on the internet. Reports have appeared on the Huffington Post, Washington Post, PCWorld.com, PCMagazine.com, Newsday.com, Businessweek.com, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia)…and many more.
Most sensational are McAfee’s hearty snaps at the GSU and the Government for abusing his rights, along with his claim that the raid was merely payback from an angry United Democratic Party (UDP) politician who he refused funding for the March 7th election campaign.
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