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Sep 19, 2014

Is the P.M.’s Position on Enforcing Anti-Gang Laws a Double Standard?

Reeling from an explosive surge of gangland violence which resulted in three murders and multiple casualties in a matter of hours, Prime Minister Dean Barrow on Thursday announced that Police will now be enforcing anti-gang laws. The laws aren’t new by any means – but they’ve just gotten obscure from lack of use. Government has always gone the route of negotiation with gangs, and at one point even doled out money to hold down the violence by gang leaders and members. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd today told News Five that the new government stance is a double-standard – ignoring or enforcing the law at their own convenience. She says that the Prime Minister, now cracking the whip at the head table, is actually part of the gang problem.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“The Prime Minister is making it seem like he is distant from this issue, but he is part of the problem. Because when he decided to go and sit with gang leaders and negotiate with them, and even invest and put money into them…I remember that there was a sitting of the National Assembly when he said that there were these high-profile, high-energy criminals that had come to him that he is going to give a break to, and I kept writing about that because once your government starts dealing with them at that level, things will get out of control. When people are lawless, they will take all they could. So all these truces and all this pray for peace is just a temporary thing. So you should have implemented the law a long time ago. We should have operated from the rule of law a long time ago. It cannot be that when it is convenient you want to use the law and when it is not convenient…you same one break the law. The minute our leaders, the minute our Prime Minister and the different ministers and the Police went and met with gangs and legitimized them and recognized them as an official entity to broker a deal with, we were in trouble.”

 

Mike Rudon

“But the Prime Minister has said point blank that he has never engaged in any payment to gangs, to gang leaders, to gang members.”

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“Boy…I would go back into the records and find those meetings and say what they put in place. There was a peace program at one point where it was clearly to pay them to keep the peace. And the records will show it. You all reported on these many things, so I won’t even go into the back and forth. People are smart enough to go find the records for themselves. People are smart enough and I hope they don’t have a short memory to see that especially this Prime Minister had sat down with them. I will never forget when in the National Assembly he said that he created this special program for these special people from gangs. And most of them were George Street members. They got their groceries paid, they got their rent paid, they gave them so-called jobs and they got monthly salaries from taxpayers. The record is there.”

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5 Responses for “Is the P.M.’s Position on Enforcing Anti-Gang Laws a Double Standard?”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    Well, these are his core constituents. This is the brain-child of the UDP. The perpetuation of a dead-entity called Belize City has led to this problem. The stubborn, self-serving refusal to relocate to Belmopan after Hurricane Hatti has left us with this cancerous swamp. Keeping the herd en-bloc has served the UDP well but will destroy the country. Barrow himself acknowledges that the laws on the books cannot deal with gangs. But the day extra-judicial justice comes to the south-side to deal with this problem, the Finnegans, Barrows, Boots and Fabers et. al will be screaming for “justice” and milking that tired political cow. The same goes for the Evan Hydes, Cordel Hydes, and the Said Musas. Shame on you all!

  2. Ali Babarrow's Belize says:

    It don’t matter, it is Ali calling the shots.

    They get licenses from him, or they are out on the streets six feet under.

    Know your master, and bow to Ali.

  3. tashybze says:

    Well voting time is coming around again, so they pulling out the nice ticket now. Let me do this real quick, the belizean people wont think back to when we mess everything up. An send our country to !@#$.

  4. sickntired says:

    Yes di record very clear but di problem is dat di govt need fi tief di money themself so they stop the gang program and gangsters need fi hustle again. Belize turn into wah lawless country and we will pay di price if we no deal with it inna wah real way starting from corrupt politrickcians weh di motivate di problem.

  5. tess adams says:

    Thank you Audrey you are so right, This Prime Minister is something else. I do not know when our Belizean people will stand up and say enough is enough. I remember when I read about him meeting with gang members and giving them a salary. What kind of PM is this? He should be fighting crime not siding with gang members. He is also showing how week and a coward he is. Our government in Belize is so so corrupt its beyond words. Our alies will need to read about Barrow what he is doing and how he is spending monies that is donated to Belize. Shame, shame shame.

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