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Apr 4, 2018

Government Puts Gangsters on Notice after Halting Plan for Public Emergency Areas

In the aftermath of a horrifically violent weekend in March, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a package of anti-crime measures. Under Section eighteen of the Constitution, the Governor General was to be asked to declare “public emergency areas” under terms to be defined by the security agencies. This, according to the Prime Minister, was intended to go further than the 2011-2012 declarations made under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, coincidentally in the same area in which the murders took place. While the legal work is now complete, the Government has decided, according to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, to take a second look. They are allowing the less invasive approaches such as mediation, intervention and community policing to take hold and are keeping counsel as to when, if at all, to activate the zoning. But Peyrefitte made clear in speaking with News Five that it is now the gangs who have to “hold it down” in order for the fragile peace not to be shattered.

 

On the Phone: Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Since we announced the emergency plans, we continued with the mediation and intervention with the different people, and it seems like the intervention and the mediation work to a great extent. So what we have done is this: we said, listen, since the emergency declaration is a very draconian step, mek wi si how far this mediation and intervention will help we. If it continues to help us and we don’t see any gang violence or nothing like that caused by any gang, then clearly, we may not need to go to the emergency situation. However, the minute it flares up again, we have those documentation ready, and good to go at the drop of a hat. There is no timeline. If the gangs noh wah behave like gangs, and they will discontinue their behavior, then who knows – we may never have to deal with this emergency situation. But if they step out of line tomorrow, we have full preparation to go into it tomorrow. So what we do from here is up to how they behave: if they behave right, then we don’t have to take any stringent measures. If they noh behave right, then we have to get eena dehn face.”

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1 Response for “Government Puts Gangsters on Notice after Halting Plan for Public Emergency Areas”

  1. Mike G says:

    So in other words, GOB has no idea about how to deal with the criminal element. “Fragile Peace”? What fragile peace? Belize is turning into a war zone.

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