|Sergeant Reyes leaves the country - no charges yet|
|Written by Administrator|
|Thursday, 13 May 2010 00:00|
Government has announced that the Director of Public Prosecutions is expected to make a decision on whether or not charges will be brought against Sergeant Paulino Reyes for the shooting death of corporal Gavin Sanchez which occurred on March 18th, 2010 and Inspector Dennis Lopez for shooting Steven Buckley on Wednesday April 28th. Both men were put on administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations. While the public outcry was for the men to be charged the police have been dragging their feet on prosecution for the two police officers and now the situation is beingcompounded in at least one of the cases.
Reliable information received by the Guardian indicates that Sergeant Paulino Reyes has since left the country to his homeland in El Salvador. There is no telling how his absence will affect the case or whether he will be returning to Belize but there has been mounting pressure to have the sergeant prosecuted for killing a fellow officer. A letter from the Police Association to the Commissioner of Police dated March 22 points to inaction to prosecute Reyes. The letter states “Over the past few months we have been plagued by a number of police related incidents particularly (shootings) which has brought the integrity of our organization into question by the community… these allegations of excessive force by police officers are really broadening the gap between us and the community, making our effort towards achieving a better police community relation almost out of reach.”
The letter goes on to point to various aspects of the scene where Sanchez was found to prove that the shooting was intentional and in fact a murder. The letter however has not been responded to and there is no telling what effect Reyes’ departure will have.