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Jun 30, 2017

Bleeding Cayo South Begs for Crime Resolution, P.M. Responds

Julius Espat

Two topics addressed on the adjournment are carrying a lot of currency at the moment. While Belize City has been mostly crime and murder-free for a few weeks, there has been a spike in murders across the Cayo District dating back to 2016. It has been largely concentrated in the villages immediately west of the capital, Belmopan, particularly Camalote, Teakettle and Blackman Eddy. This week saw another young person, Mark Mendez, brutally killed outside of his native Teakettle. Cayo South area representative Julius Espat invoked the words of two parents who lost their sons last year to violence, leading to a sober response from Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who admitted that more must be done.

 

Julius Espat, Area Rep., Cayo South

“The people from Scenes of Crime who collect all the information, how come they have not come forward to present the information that they have – and this is after a year? Why does the D.P.P. have to go four to five times to the Police to force their hand to go pick up some simple piece of detail that they are asking for? Why are these things happening? We cannot remain silent. The more we remain silent, the more they are going to continue to happen. We are the people who pay, because we are the taxpayers; we pay that the people who work in the system are supposed to do their jobs – if they don’t do their jobs, they are failing us, because they are paid to do a good job. And hence we applaud the Church for coming out tonight, and most of the people out here are Christians, and we are praying. We will continue to pray, but we will continue to make noise as well.” And I will quote another thing, said by Miss Sherett Lopez, mother of the deceased [Akeem Lopez:] there is something about the death of a child; in such a way that does something to you, that kills that spirit, that drive within you, even that desire to do anything meaningful. What I am sharing is what has been my journey over the last year; while I try to cling on to the little ones that are left behind because that’s the future, it’s difficult, fighting a system you know, a system you work with, [that] you know is corrupt to the core; and realizing that it’s not that nothing can be done, but the reality is that nobody wants to do anything.”

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Madam Speaker, we clearly live in a violent country; and it’s true to say that this phenomenon of violence is a crisis. I won’t waste words and perhaps, end up sounding like a politician who is merely spouting hollow rhetoric. Suffice it to say that the Member’s plea is obviously extremely sincere and the Government is bound to react to that in exactly the way he has petitioned. There must be more attention from the Police given to the area of Cayo South; and indeed, there must be the working together that he has asked for; that is, the Police and the community.”

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