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Mar 20, 2018

Will Gov’t Ignore Latest P.U.P. Overtures?

John Briceño

The call to address crime has become a plank of the P.U.P.’s public statements, but even Briceño admits it seems to be falling on deaf ears. Beyond an initial acknowledgment from Prime Minister Dean Barrow, little has been done by Government to reach out and partisan rhetoric has been the order of the day. Nonetheless, the P.U.P. says they will keep trying.

 

John Briceño, P.U.P. Leader

“We’ve been asking for it, and we’re hoping that by speaking out publicly, that it will put a little more pressure on them to be able to at least look at what we are proposing, and hopefully call on us to sit down and to talk. I remember that last year, at the last House meeting for the year, I again spoke out and reached out to the Prime Minister, saying let’s work together; let’s set up a House committee from both sides to see if we can come with some sort of ideas on how to address the issue. Because we have been pointing out for quite some time, that crime, as Cordel mentioned is not genetic; it’s not just in one area but it’s spreading out, it’s all over the country. The Prime Minister agreed to the proposal, but we heard nothing after that. Cordel has spoken in the House; I spoke again like two House meetings ago, again reaching out, calling on the Minister that we have to stop this brutalizing of our young people by the Police Department and the Minister [Elodio] Aragon gets up and answers political; he makes a political statement. We stand ready to work with them and we are very serious about it. This is another issue that should not be wrapped in party colors but as Belizeans. I’m sure all of us in this room, myself included, have had some kind of violent crime committed to either a friend or a member of your families. I had a cousin that was murdered in his house around nine o’clock, right after New Year’s about four or five years ago – as he was entering his house, somebody shot him. So we know firsthand the pain that people go through, and we’re hoping that the Government will try to look at this seriously.”

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