And while Conorquie was laid to rest and honored with a police funeral including the 21 gun salute, Belizeans are now questioning whether his family will receive monetary compensation from Government. The question arises since in the past GOB has compensated the family of a Guatemalan National who was shot and killed in Belizean territory. On March twenty-ninth, twenty-six year old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, a resident of San Marcos in the municipality of Dolores, Guatemala was fatally hit in the chest, the abdomen and right leg.
Ramirez was killed after a joint B.D.F. and Police Patrol came under fire by a group of men. But while many believe that Conorquie’s family should be compensated since he died while in the line of duty, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has stated that there is no basis for compensation. Elrington has stated on the record that and we quote “Before any compensation can be sought it is necessary to ascertain who committed the offense. At this point in time we don’t know who committed the offense.
We don’t know who did it; neither do we know the persons’ nationality so that we can’t ask the Guatemalans for anything.” According to Elrington, the family of Ramirez was compensated because he died at the hands of Belize’s military.
The Prime Minister of Belize though, has stated via a press release issued this afternoon, that, and we quote “While nothing can bring him back (referring to Conorquie), or properly console his loved ones, the Government commits to looking after the financial welfare of his immediate survivors.
In a twist of events the release also states that there are reasons to believe that Guatemalan nationals may be responsible for the shooting of Conorquie and this has been communicated to the Guatemalan Authorities and the OAS. The Guatemalan Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, expressed his government’s regret over the death of the Belizean Special Constable and offered full collaboration in the effort to bring the perpetrators to justice, states the release.
The release further makes mention that the Prime Minister has spoken personally to SC Conorquie’s next of kin, and has offered every assurance that the sacrifices carried out by the 20 year old Belizean hero will not be forgotten. At the same time as expressing sorrow, the Government of Belize also expresses outrage at the heinous nature of the killing, and condemns the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
As for the security in the Chiquibul Archeological Site, the Prime Minister states in the release that every effort will continue to be made to strengthen the security arrangements in the border areas. The P.M makes mention that it was only last Friday, after much planning, that the Belize Defense Force launched Operation Incisive Gallop, designed to clear illegal incursions into Belize’s national territory. We understand that the first of three new border outposts is nearing completion, and the capacity to deploy security forces more rapidly and effectively in the jungle is also being reviewed by GOB.
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