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Apr 27, 2017

Your Labour Day Weekend Will Be Crime-Free, Thanks to Gang Truce

On the eve of the extended holiday weekend, opposing gangs met in the city to commit to a crime free weekend. The meeting was held at the Raccoon Police Station and attended by representatives of all gangs and top cop Chester Williams of the Eastern Division South as well as mediator Dianne Finnegan and Motivational Speaker, Deshawn ‘Jawhi’ Morris. Since the Easter, the gangs have agreed to put down the guns and with the upcoming three-day break, there is a promise that the citizen will be free of gang warfare. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

A cross-section of various Belize City gangs attended another meeting earlier today at the Raccoon Street Police Station where they were called in to discuss the upcoming holiday weekend.  For the past three weeks, there has been a significant decrease, if not a complete standstill, in gang-related crimes.  The ceasefire is largely attributed to the respective groups willingly coming together to iron out their differences, in an effort to keep the peace.  So far, the brotherly pact that has been struck remains intact.

 

Devon ‘Hulk’ Bailey

Devon ‘Hulk’ Bailey, Antelope Street Gaza

“I feel good because, you know, from the brothers and myself hold wahn lee commitment and seh well we wahn hold it down and we wahn try maintain wah lee peace and mend back earth, you know.  I sih wahn lotta lee changes.  I could go certain places, you know.  Even though I still noh drop my guard and thing I feel safe because I meet some ah di brethren round and thing weh I mi have problem with and, you know, I noh feel no way.  I noh di think no negative way and I sih pan di other side dehn noh di think no negative way also.  So you know, I feel good and I wahn thank di bredda dehn too fi hold dehn lee commitment and seh well da peace wih di deal with and mek wi deal with di peace, you know, because at di end ah di day we wahn better off we.  We wahn deal with fu we kids.  We wahn be able fu sih fu we children have children.”

 

It’s a departure from what has been the status quo for far too long, a state of affairs where they have been constantly preying upon each other.  Over the years, the death toll has spoken for itself.  This time around, however, change is being effected voluntarily.

 

Isani Cayetano

“How do you feel, it’s been three weeks and there has been no violence coming from any of the Belize City groups.  How do you feel in your own neck of the woods being able to move around without really having to look over your shoulder as before?”

 

Alex Underwood

Alex Underwood, South Side Gangsters

“Well ih feel good.  Ihn feel good.  Honestly, ih feel good check because I could go certain part weh I mi cyant go before.  Ih feel a lee more safer yo check, but everything good.  We just di relax and thing mein.”

 

That sense of calm is expected to prevail over the weekend, despite naysayers criticizing the unorthodox method in which the mediator goes about doing his work.  Since arriving in Belize, Jawhi has been on a mission to unite the feuding groups and thus far he has been successful at bringing them to the table.  Unfortunately, there are those in the wider society who disapprove of his past as a gang member.  Naturally, he seems to be the best person to deliver that resounding message of harmony.

 

Alex Underwood

“Well di man just di tell we dat he neva like how dehn di blast up di man pan Facebook and thing check.  But di man seh ih wahn hold tight and continue ride with we and mek sure we try hold down di city from violence check.  But like weh Mr. Williams seh, ih like how we do it and we wahn continue and this weekend wahn be wah peaceful weekend and we just wah enjoy weself.  That da it right ya soh fi dis weekend boss.”

 

The feeling of no longer having to constantly be looking over one’s shoulder is one of great relief.  That’s evidenced by the responses we got when speaking with these persons on record.  Lloyd Valentine, a member of the West Street gang, is simply happy for the camaraderie that has been renewed.

 

Lloyd Valentine

Lloyd Valentine, West Street Crew

“I just glad that the peace, you know, increase and everybody free up now, we noh haftu worry bout nothing.  Everything good right now mein.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“It’s been three weeks for you guys, you’re able to move around and you don’t really have to watch your back as much as you’ve had to before.  You’re sitting around a table where some of the very people you may have had an issue with, you have that opportunity to talk to them and try to iron things out.  What has that been like for you?”

 

Lloyd Valentine

“Ih good.  At least we di come back as one and thing and everybody could be brothers back and dat da how ih business fu be.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Your Labour Day Weekend Will Be Crime-Free, Thanks to Gang Truce”

  1. Concerned says:

    It’s almost funny yet disgraceful we know who the gang people are and police can’t curb crime.

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