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Jan 4, 2017

Gangs and Guns Standing in the Way of Crime-Free Belize

Six murders in four days have taken some by surprise, while others were not so shocked by the spike in the homicides. And on Tuesday night, you heard the top brass in the Police Department talk about what they are going to do for the next few months to curb the gun violence, particularly in the city. Today, we caught up with Minister of Police Elodio Aragon and we asked him to expound on those plans as it relates to the short term. He told us that that it is a challenging start to the New Year but that the Department is prepared to go the distance to curb the killings. He said he is confident that once the guns and gang elements are addressed that there will be a decrease in murders:

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of Police

“It is always a challenge and well, you know, we would have wanted to start the year the way we have started. I think we have had five murders in three days of the New Year and that is very unfortunate. But that is a reality of the situation on the ground and the Police Department and Government are working very closely to ensure that we curb this situation. As we speak, I know that a lot of things that have been done for the immediate response to this situation. I know that a lot of operations are taking place right now; operational units both GSU and MIT, SPU, along with personnel on the ground in Belize City. There is a number of raids that will be taking place. We are targeting personnel who are directly involved and the incidents that are occurring to try to curb the situation. So these are some of the things. We are working on the Intel to be prepared to deal with the situation.  But at this point in time, the situation is that we are doing what we have to do to deal with and I understand the public’s view that we have to be more aggressive etc… and I will tell you that the Police Department has no problem to do what it has to do to deal with the situation. We have done it before in the past and we will do it again if necessary. The specific problems that we are facing right now is gang violence and gun related crimes. These are the incidents that are causing these kinds of problems in our communities as we speak. Therefore, these are the kinds of things we have to focus on if we can find the kind of solutions not only for the medium and long and term and these are the things we will be working on.”

 

Reporter

“Do you as Police Minister feel that this issue can still be resolved; that we can curb the number of murders?”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Of course, I am confident that we can curb the number of murders in this country. We have to have a comprehensive crime strategy to deal with this situation. We can’t do business as usual because if we do business as usual we will get the same results. And we have to focus on the issue at hand and the issue at hand is gun and gang related violence that is our number one problem in our country right now. And if we can curb that, we can curb the number of murders in this country. I do think that it is not not an easy thing to do. It is challenging and I do think that there are means and ways to do that.”

 

Andrea Polanco

 

“So the public can expect to see a fall in murders and gang related crimes?”

 

Elodio Aragon Jr.

“Well that is the plan and our objective and that is what we are working on.”

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