Yesterday 20 year old Danny Conorquie, a police special constable assigned to the Tourism Police Unit was shot and killed while on duty in the Caracol Archaeological Site. The incident occurred in the general vicinity of the main temple in plain view of several tourists and tour operators. While initial reports suggested that just after midday Conorquie and another officer were rounding up some horses when they came under fire, investigations have reveled diffrently.
Reports are that earlier on the day of the shooting; a group of officers were patrolling the same area when they came upon a group of men believed to be of Guatemalan nationality. The officers confiscated 5 horses and lumber but were unable to capture the men since they fled the scene.
The investigation has revealed that around 11:56pm Conorquie and his companion were conducting routine patrols within the site and looking over the tourist. Conorquie then went to sit underneath one of the shades looking at the main temple where some tourists were when 2 male persons ambushed him from behind and fired a shot which caught him on the center of his back. Conorquie then fell to the ground and that is when the person approached him, stood over him and fired a single shot on his face causing him to die right on the spot.
Conorquie is said to have been shot after he approached two men of Hispanic descent, reportedly from Guatemala, who were on horseback. The two men opened fire and three of the bullets hit Conorquie on the left side of his face. We understand that Conorquie’s companion informed police that men removed the shotgun from Conorquie and then made good their escape by retreating into the dense cover of the jungle. While there is a debate as to whether or not the men who shot the 20 year old were Guatemalans, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has indicated that there is no evidence that proves that Conorquie was shot by Guatemalans there are those who think otherwise even members of the police department. And for his comments Honorable Wilfred Elrington has come under fire.
Today the Peoples United Party issued a release which states and we quote “We condemn the timid, almost cowering reaction, of Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington in the face of this latest, tragic act of aggression, apparently by Guatemalan intruders and demand that the Foreign Ministry immediately request such verification assistance from the OAS as is necessary.” End of quote.
In the release the PUP demands, on behalf of all Belizeans, that the Government of Belize: quote “lodge an immediate and vigorous protest of this crime and affront to our national security and sovereignty, with counterparts in Guatemala, at the highest level, once we can confirm that this abhorrent act was committed by Guatemalan nationals trespassing in our national reserve.”
The release emphasizes that no effort can be spared in the investigation of this brazen crime and every attempt must be made to bring Danny Conroquie’s murderers to justice as quickly as possible. At the end of the release the PUP states that they stand ready to meet with the Government of Belize to find practical, workable solutions to this evolving security crisis.
A post mortem was conducted on Conorquie’s body today at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Police are still trying to decipher why the men shot at Conorquie who are believed to be xateros.
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