BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 13, 2015–Relatives of Jason Orozco, 35, a fisherman from the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City, who was detained for possession of illegal ammunition by Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officers during a raid at the Vernon Street Fish Market this morning, were still very much incensed when we visited the area this afternoon.
Orozco was reportedly arrested and carted off to the Queen Street Police Station for two bullets which his family claimed were planted in the area by the officers who, they allege, have been targeting the father of 6 for some time now.
His sister, Danika Young, told us what happened when the GSU descended on the area shortly after 7:00 a.m. today.
She said, “My brother came about after 7:00 and played a little dominoes because he was waiting on the boat come in to buy fish that we usually sell. Now GSU pull up and they give him the first search and after he got searched the first time, he continue play dominoes, then a next one [of the officers] came back again and asked him, ‘they done searched you?’ So he said, ‘yes.’ Then after that, the next police told him, ‘come make we search you again’ and they searched him again.”
“That was when they took him by a red vehicle and put him to sit down. The next minute, one of the GSU [officers] came and found 2 bullets [which were] inside a match box [and stashed under the passenger wheel of the vehicle]. When they found the bullet, my brother shouted and told his girlfriend that they want to charge him for a bullet that he doesn’t know about because he doesn’t deal with guns nor he no kill nobody,” Young further related.
Young said that when she later went to check about the situation at the police station, she was mistreated by some of the officers, who informed her that her brother would be charged for the bullets, but gave her the run-around when she attempted to inquire about the basis for the charges.
Jason’s aunt, Odessa Orozco, who took her complaints to the media, was adamant that it was a setup because the vehicle under which the bullets were found reportedly does not belong to her nephew, and also he was the only person taken away by police, although there were several other people who were in the vicinity at the time.
She said, “This morning when I was downtown I got a phone call from my daughter. She told me, ‘Ma, the GSU are here under the market and plant bullet on Jason.’ I said, ‘What! Can’t! Jason is no gunman.’’
“When I reach the market to see what was going down now, they had my nephew standing handcuffed in front of a vehicle with two GSU officers guarding him. So I asked my family member, ‘what happen?’ Then I found out that they were really trying to plant bullets on my nephew. My nephew is not like that. He has six children; he is no gunman, but from the get go, the GSU have been harassing my nephew,” she said.
The aunt also mentioned that members of the GSU have threatened to kill Orozco several times before.
When we checked with his relatives this evening, he was still in police custody pending charges.