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Home Letters Barton Creek Mennonites want more government protection from robbers

Barton Creek Mennonites want more government protection from robbers

Dear Editor,

In regards to an article that appeared in the Amandala last year, we in the village here in Lower Barton Creek feel compelled to respond. We feel that the public deserves a more accurate account of what happened during one of the most terrorizing acts of robbery from two policemen this young couple has ever experienced.

As follows:

A man and his wife (names withheld) left home in Lower Barton Creek on December 5, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. We needed to go to Belmopan for doctor’s advice on my wife’s condition, she being well into the second trimester of pregnancy and experiencing severe discomfort. Little did we know how much pain and trauma we were to experience before the day was over.

As we were driving alongside the property of “Western Caribbean Fruit Grower” with our wagon and two horses, we were suddenly confronted by two people who stopped in front of our wagon. The driver was dressed in a regular police uniform, and was driving a red scooter, and his attendant had regular civilian clothes on.

First of all, upon seeing the police we were not so concerned, as we thought they would likely only warn us of trouble up the road; we had no idea that these men would become the real trouble makers. So my wife asked me if these men were thieves. I said “no, I don’t think so, I have seen these policemen many times before,” but when the man in civilian clothes pulled a gun on us I reconsidered and got the urge to flee from them!

The robbers not saying anything, we decided to flee, and as we drove off, the person fired into one of my two horses twice, once in the shoulder and once in his back leg (which broke the bone of his leg). We still urged the horses to run for our dear life, and when I looked back he was pointing the gun towards my head and fired a full four shots that God prevented from hitting me. The wagon receiving one of those bullets, we were in a very serious situation.

The horse ran on three legs up to 200 yards and fell sideways, having lost much blood through the nose and mouth from the gunshot to his shoulder. As the horse dropped we began to flee, running on foot, and left the wagon and horse abandoned. Soon they had caught up with us and we turned around and headed the other way. They then abandoned their scooter and ran after us and fired after us another six times, always pointing the gun to my head, but we ran.

I helped my pregnant wife, taking her arm and helping her to run faster. We shouted for help, and all the while they ran after us, shouting to us many, many times that we should lie down, lie down, lie down. Finally, the man in police uniform caught up with me and hit me on the back of my head with the gun, hoping to knock me down; the wound bleeding heavily, I stopped and they still demanded that we lie down.

We, fearing a rape on my pregnant and terrorized young wife, did not comply with their demand. My wife, then crying hard, begged me repeatedly to give the policemen money and see if they would leave us alone. They not once having mentioned money, I started to give them money, some of our money, and they then interrupted by screaming, “All”, and we gave some more, All, All, which meant all the money. Once I had emptied my wallet, my blood running on to the money given to them, they then tried to wipe the blood off the money and left us on their red scooter. They left us to our fate, with one head wound, one dead horse, and, worst of all, the trauma on my poor wife, and the amount of $670 BZD poorer, with no money to go for our doctor’s checkup.

We were on our way home on foot. After about 250 yards of walking, a Spanish friend caught up with us, and he then called the police. The police responded with: “we’ll be right there”, “on our way down.” They, the police, arrived one hour later. When they arrived they found the empty shells of ammunition plus some full bullets on the ground. They then left, after taking some information of the robbery, and we borrowed money plus a clean shirt (without blood) and sought medical care, first of all for my wound, and then for my wife’s maternity case.

Friends came to the scene and offered to take us into Belmopan, for which we are very thankful and give God all honor and glory. The dead horse was afterwards taken on another wagon back to Barton Creek and disposed of properly.

Now, nearly two months later, we repeatedly have encounters with along-the-road holdups, and to date, the man in police uniform, which is a person known to our people, has still not been apprehended; the other person that at time of the occurrence is now known to be a policeman, has already been charged, but we don’t know for what – the gun or the robbery.

We pray to God for the Government of Belize for much needed protection in this country with so much violence and crime.

We understand that there is a document of agreement between the Mennonites and this country, guaranteeing them protection of life and property in Peace and War, (Part 1 (c)—The Agreement with British Honduras) signed by then Governor Sir Colin H. Thornley. We appeal to the Nation of Belize to further protect its subjects according to agreement made on December 18, 1957.

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