Letters — 06 February 2019
African-American citizen writes on his “bad experience”

Dear Editor,

I am a retired African-American U.S. citizen residing in Punta Gorda, Belize.

On February 2, 2019, at about 2:30 p.m. while I was doing my fast-walking regular exercise along the seafront in Punta Gorda, a Belizean firefighter in PG threatened my life with a firearm.

First, the firefighter sent his pitbull dog to attack me, and when I responded to him saying “shame on you for sending your pit bull dog to attack me! Why do you do this to me? You must have a deep hatred and animosity towards me and Americans, shame on you”, at that point he reached into his vehicle’s compartment and took out a firearm and held it in his hand while he viciously stared at me with wide open eyes.

At that point, I fled the scene and filed a police report with the PG Police Department.

On Monday, February 4, 2019, I met with the Acting Superintendent of PG police and I respectfully requested court action.

But unfortunately, the Superintendent stated to me that my complaint is not actionable because my complaint does not rise to the threshold for a court action. The officer stated that under the criminal laws of Belize, if the individual did not raise his hand and actually point the firearm directly at you, and say, “I am going to shoot you,” the case will not meet the threshold for a court action and therefore, no prosecution will be warranted, even though one is harassed, attacked by a pitbull, and one’s life is threatened by a firearm, at gunpoint, in Belize!

I came to retire in Punta Gorda because I sincerely want to give back to humanity through service, by becoming an adjunct instructor at the University of Belize, Punta Gorda campus, but unfortunately, the animosity towards individual Americans trumps any goodwill efforts!

Punta Gorda, Belize
Francis Mandewah

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