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BELIZE | Police on high alert as Belizeans celebrate Carnival

BELMOPAN, Belize, Sept 10, CMC – Police remained on high alert as the extended Carnival celebrations were winding down this weekend, amid security concerns following the discovery of at least two explosive devices here over the past few days.

The police said that they wanted to re-assure the public that they are taking extra measures to tackle any form of violence during the celebrations.

Belize carnival“We want to assure the general public that we have security measures in place since prior to September first.  Our security level is at the highest risk that we can possibly put it and we will have enough law enforcement to ensure that we have peaceful festivities,” said Operations Commander, ACP Edward Broaster..

“So we want to assure the public that we will be out there in numbers and I want the public to cooperate with our law enforcement officers and as well, we are appealing to our officers to be professional with the general public.

“We will not go into the strategies that we have in place, but rest assured…you will see the strategies that we have put in place and it will be very visible.  And the fact that we have discovered those explosives is a testament to the fact that we are very aggressive on the ground,” he added.

Last week, an explosive expert said fatalities may have been avoided after the Belize Defence Force (BDF) retrieved an explosive device used in seismic testing activates on a street in the capital over the last weekend.

The device, complete with a battery and accompanying wires, was found on Saturday and bomb expert Brigadier General David Jones said he believes the missing detonator is still in the possession of the person or persons who planted the explosive where it was later discovered by law enforcement authorities.

Jones warned that “there are probably more on the streets of Belize City.

“It is actually a live explosive used primarily for seismic testing.  It is a danger piece of explosive as well.  If anyone was in close proximity to it when it would have been detonated, it would have caused fatalities.

“It’s actually about two point two pounds of explosive so it’s a lot inside that canister.  That particular explosive should not be on the streets of Belize City or in any urban area whatsoever.  I suspect that someone stole it and there was some negligence in regards to how those explosives came on to the streets of Belize City, but indications are that there are probably more on the streets of Belize City and those things need to come off the streets.”

Broaster said regarding the consumption of alcohol, it will only be allowed using disposable, plastic cups.

“There will be, yes, however, there will be bars, I believe, in certain areas along the route which have been allowed to sell alcohol in plastic cups.  We will not tolerate any bottled drinks throughout the carnival,” he said.

The police have also warned against persons risking their lives by climbing on to overcrowded floats.  The unfortunate incident of an individual being ran over during carnival in Orange Walk in 2014, has since prompted officers to pay keen attention to persons who are intoxicated and are in the way of oncoming traffic.

“Each and every person has a moral obligation and responsibility for their individual safety and there is certain precautionary measures that a person needs to take to ensure his or her security as well,” said

ACP Dezerie Phillips, Commander, Eastern Division.

“ So you don’t go and you climb on a truck that you know there is hardly any space for you because the possibility is that you may fall out indeed.  Your safety should be of paramount importance, and just like it is to us as well, so we will be looking at that and anybody we see endangering themselves we will be advising them not to do so.”

  • Countries: Belize

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