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Mar 19, 2010

How will San Pedro get rid of undesirables on the island?

water taxiThe beachfront on Ambergris Caye has been reduced to a façade for violence that has been spreading on the island.   There were two separate stabbing incidents on Tuesday night. That prompted San Pedro’s Mayor, the Minister of Tourism, the police department, the town council, and the business Community to hold a meeting to find efforts to stop the crime wave. But before dawn on Thursday, the violence erupted in the barracks of the police station and after many shots were fired, Corporal Gavin Sanchez was dead.  The Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, reacted to the violence but his remarks have landed him in controversy. News Five’s Jose Sanchez was present when the minister spoke.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

While at the scene of the shooting, the police station, Manuel Heredia, the Minister of Tourism indicated that to get rid of undesirable people on the island, he intends to take a controversial measure to Cabinet. He envisions a screening process at the water taxi where potential visitors to the island would need to answer personal questions.  He also indicated that people might say it infringes on the rights of the Creoles.

Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism

Manuel Heredia

Manuel Heredia

“Many of the officers that were responsible for taking control on the island, that is what they used to do. Times have changed and it is very regretful because now with the human rights situation and so there are many people that – oh you are taking away the privilege of, in particular when it happens with the Creole descent. That is the first thing that you will hear. But again, I feel that if we have to do that, we have to do it because we have to regain our community. We see many unwanted persons on the island many times and again I have said let us ask the water taxis for a manifest that will probably question the people not really in a rude way but “Where will you be working? Why did you come to San Pedro? Do you have money to sustain yourself in the meantime?” And those types of things probably will help. And that is what came out at the meeting. We have to probably recommend to cabinet that those are measures that we need to take on the island being the number one tourist destination, probably there are other alternatives that are not taken elsewhere that we supposed to take over here.”

The statements about creoles and the water taxi manifest prompted a response from two outspoken legal minds, Arthur Saldivar and Hubert Elrington.

Hubert Elrington

Hubert Elrington

Hubert Elrington, Attorney

“Apparently they felt that people of Creole descent or maybe Afro descent were particularly problematic to them out there. But creoles like Mestizos, East Indians, the Maya and the Ketchi form part of the body of people who own Belize. When you see a Creole you are looking at an owner. In the same way, when you see a Garifuna, you are looking at an owner. An east Indian is an owner, a Mestizo is an owner so you must understand that you are dealing with owners of what we like to call the Jewel and you can’t start by prohibiting an owner from going to any property it owns.”

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney

“No Belizean should have to be questioned as to why they are going to any part of the country. In fact you have a right to freedom of movement to go anywhere you want to go within the eight thousand, eight hundred and sixty-seven square miles of our territorial space. So to have such a requirement would fly in the face of constitutionally guaranteed, whether we be Creole, Garifuna, Mestizo, Belizean of Chinese descent, African descent or otherwise.”

Manuel Heredia

“People might feel we want to be independent that is what they say many times. That is not the case. It’s because we are isolated from the main, many people feel that San Pedro doesn’t need any assistance, that we have everything over here. But we have always said, regardless of what, it might be true that we survive better than others, but again there are many other elements that we need to address and that takes time.”

Hubert Elrington

“The water taxi man or the water taxi woman has no right to question me. Suppose I go there in a short pants and barefooted one day, in an old shirt and old pants he may take me for a bad boy. The minister of National Security and the prime minister must begin to take personal responsibility for these horrendous murders that are taking place. We think that the time has been long passed when the ministers must take responsibility for what is happening. If you can’t do the job, you must give it to somebody else the job who can do it. And there is no excuse to permit this spate of murders to continue.”

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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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38 Responses for “How will San Pedro get rid of undesirables on the island?”

  1. ABM says:

    How u mean ah some racist type stuff dat fool a promote. Bout creole dis and creole dat ah wen yellow belly pania get suh bright

  2. drummy says:

    Sorry mr. Minister , Belizeans are free to go wherever and whenever. If you want to profile the crooks, let it be. Remember thou that even crooks have rights.

  3. Egbert Muschamp Jr says:

    Its sad to know that some people in leadership position think like this. This is one of the main reason Belize is in the state it is. People in high positions are holding positions that are too much for their intellectual capacity. In this case the Minister of Tourism clearly makes a mockery of himself and the country of Belize by saying folks might say they are targeting the people of Creole descent. Asking people who are of a darker shade the questions the minister is proposing won’t deter crime. Having educated ministers, police superintendents, police, and a general population will. After all criminal elements come in all shades, sizes, and color. I have seen instances where the native San Pedranos have been charged for murders, drug trafficking and every other crime that the black descendant Belizeans have been charged with.

    One day if Minister Castro who is of Garifuna ancestry and whose hair style is dreadlocks attempts to board a water taxi I hope he will be faced with the same questiions. Even more so a Minister Elrington or the Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, who are of Creole ancestry.

    Wake up Belizeans stop selling your votes. That is how some of these people with twisted ideologies and racist beliefs get elected.

    Until they are no longer first class or second class citizens of any nation; until the color of a man skin is of no more singnificance than the color of his eyes; there will always be war. That what Emperor Hailie Selassie I wrote in his speech to the UN and Bob Marley quoted in his song WAR.

    Wake up Belize it is now 2010. Afta all I mi think all a wi dah 1.

    Food for thought

  4. D. Kidd says:

    Manuel Heredia…What an moronic divisive idiot. To think that this man is a minister of government having the mentality he has. I guess he think this is pre-apartheid south africa. He and everybody in that meeting should be forced to resign immediately.

  5. Mildsky says:

    I think the Minister of Tourism has gone too far. I’m a Mestizo myself and feel this is a xenophobic act. He himself had made reference to it when it comes to creoles. Any Belizean should be able to move to any town (freely) within his or her own country! Communities change with times and they cannot remain the same. As to the crime…it’s everyone who should have a responsibility. It seems that what I understand from the Minister Heredia San Pedro seeks it’s own self preservation. It’s selfish but again Crime does not affect onlyBelize City or the mainland it’s everyone. So let’s find ways to combat crimes and stop thinking about ourselves. We should all be involve in the fight against crime.

  6. Sabrina says:

    This solution is so outrageous and offensive, obviously this guy has no idea about Tourism and its just a reflection oh how incapable of running the country this Government is.

  7. Common Sense says:

    Hubert Elrington for Prime Minister! The man talks common sense constantly!

  8. cat dog says:

    really and truely violent crimes have gotten, ‘way outta hand’, as we say. however for the man Herredia to begin to entertain the idea of singling out black people for special attention with all those personal questions, is nothing short of racial profiling and discrimination. people of so called creole descent are not the only ones capable of and committing crimes. the way Reyes shot up Sanchez, a fellow policeman makes him no different from the thugs and crimminals that appears to be running things on the streets of Belize.

  9. Bobby says:

    Mr Hubert makes a good point. If San Pedro were to reintroduce the draconian method of keeping out desirables it wont solve the problem. What is needed is stricter crime prevention and crime laws that guarantee that criminals stay in jail instead of coming out so soon because of good behaviour. You do the crime you do the time. Maybe wat San pedro needs is more foot patrol officers who can stop and search people who are just sitting around and loitering. Many times you go to the acyes you see people who are obviously not there to enjiy their holiday or weekend. And people who do not seem to be there becuase they are working or because they live there. These are the people who are causing trouble. they sell drugs and mis behave. Another thing is the Police needs to purge the force of rougue undesirable officers. Officers who shoot the guns for no good reason should be fired. even those who are unprofessional should be fired. I thnk the Minister responsible for Police is not effective. He should be the one pushing for stronger crime control laws and making sure that there is no favoritism in the force.

  10. kenny diaz says:

    This goes to show that not only is the Tourism Minister not the sharpest tool in the shed, he is also a downright racist. I have heard him speak at several occassions and wonder what the hell he could possible do for tourism and now he goes ahead and offer us his ideas on cutting down on crime….what a load of manure. SHUT UP, HEREDIA…YOUR MOUTH IS LIKE A BACKHOE, NOT A SHOVEL…IT THATS BURIES YOU EVERY TIME YOU SPEAK WITHOUT A SCRIPT.

  11. lany says:

    What a tragedy!!! And what an idiot!!! And here he is MINISTER OF TOURISM. Dean what the hell were you thinking. Or are you an OREO COOKIES also. the man is outright crazy.”OUR” kind. I thought BElize if For all not some. This man is a joke and should be TOLD to Apologize to us the “creole Descent”. And you know if he can be this prejudice imagine if the fool manage to pass this bill, what other kind of discrimiation will we have to suffer. Guess what the creole people are not longer “Ignorants” we know our rights and we will fight for it. Dean if you don’t do something about this fool. Say goodbye to cash cow.

  12. good says:

    To me the Minister of tourism the talk the facts of how it is. Look around you every day who you see our same creole skin and garifuna youths dressed and behaving in the ways they called ‘ Gangster’ sagging and making noise all over the place. they no try uplift themselves. Sad to say my own people are killing each other. we need to realize the things going on.when u go to the market the groceries stores any shop look who all running these business in Belize open your eyes and realize the truth we need to take a stand me Black Brothers. When i go to Belize City am Scared to and thats cause i am a Creole decent person too wa you think would be next we need to take a stand now!!!

  13. Indy says:

    I am very disappointed to hear this especially from a minister. He is suppose to serve the people regardless of color or creed. I am Hispanic and I have friends from all races and creeds. It hurts me to talk about this and think that we are going back to “Colonial thinking”. We should be a country of progressive minds. I urge the minister to issue a pubic apology and to re-phrase his statement. Otherwise he should not be a minister of this country, which we consider ourselves a melting pot. Maybe you meant to say we are going to monitor VISITORS that come to the island more carefully….

  14. Junior says:

    The Minister should make public apology and Barrow should remove him immediately. Even though we as creole’s should stop and think, if the rest of country think about us that way, and if yes, then we need to help and be more sensitive to our brothers who are in drugs, gangs, single mothers. Remember even Obama, once in a speech scold his African desecnt, to me MACHO, and honer their kids, help those single mothers. NO other ethnic crowd has so much problems like our creole brothers, we have a bunch of lazy people not get out and do hard work, yet the blame society, colonialism, we need to get up and help our fellow brothers, stop selling the drugs, care for the single mothers- those kids need love and care so they can become great citizens of 2morrow, yet we ignore the cries, Our Prime Minster, we all know u have a bunch of fool fool minister- Jack-a-s2, can’t wait for the recall of ministers…God Bless belize

  15. Reason says:

    If you all have been to San Pedro, you will realize that San Pedro is the most corrupted Town in Belize. It’s all about partying, drinking, drugs, prostitution…you name it! Therefore, what do you expect to be the outcome? You reap what you sow…as simple as that!

  16. Visa says:

    So, we might need Visa to go to San Pedro. How much would it cost? Would it be cheaper or would it cost as much as applying for a U.S. visa?
    How brown is creole. Im mixed so i’m not sure if i pass for spanish? Will white people american’s and Eurpean’s be excluded. The statement said nothing of foreigners of any heritage. only of BELIZEAN heritage. so the minister of tourism is ok with foreigners going to san pedro but not the brownies or blackies. Keep them at the back of the store, at the back of the bus, and hey, don’t even let them on the back of the boat if they don’t have enough money in their pockets? how much money does a black p erson need to produce to bee good enough for San Pedro? Im glad the minister said what most of us have known about san pedro and san pedranos all along. THey think they are white because they look at white people all day long. I wish someone woudl give all san pedranos a ticket to Germany or the white parts of texas. and then they will find out what colour they really are.

  17. Star says:

    The Government of Belize: Elrington is artificial, Barrow the Jackass, Heredia racist,
    Coye in contraband etc…

  18. Mbrad says:

    Manuel Heredia, Minister of Tourism, is a real political dunce to say something like that…..

  19. gbwoi says:

    Don’t know where to start. Can’t believe were actually getting this in our country. I lived in the states for a while but moved back home because I didn’t like the feeling of racism. Felt that this melting pot was the best way to be living and now this coming from a minister of government. People are taking this likely, but I feel that since Belizeans placed that fool where he is Belizeans should set him down. We do not deserve this treatment in our own country. I don’t even think we should think about accepting an apology from him. He already showed his true colours and a forced apology won’t mean shit in a situation like this.

  20. Star says:


  21. Elgin says:

    Sorry but none of you clung isn’t going to stop me from going where ever i want to go in my country.What are you all trying to do?Divide the people more than they have?

  22. Elgin says:

    This is for the Tourism Minister,just a reminder sir you keep singling out the black people when comes to crimes in Belize however it wasn’t a black officer that fired nine shots into Corporal Sanchez.The sgt is more criminal than the black youths out in the streets.How do you fire nine shots into an officer that works with you on a daily basis and probably eat and sleep in thesame barrack.These guys were suppose to be like brothers.So what do you have to say about that?

  23. Elgin says:

    You sound reaally stupid Tourism Sinister,i am not even going to address you as minister because you don’t deserve to.So what are you implying that La isla Bonita is not a part of the jewel?

  24. BELIZEAN PRIDE says:


  25. Ocaso says:

    I second the motion that Visa mentioned above. There has always been an ugly racist undertone to San Pedro and most of the people who live there. The fact that most of the island has become an American/European colony over the past two decades by way of land ownership hasn’t helped either.
    Ultimately what minister Herredia should do is apologise for his asinine and tasteless comments. But, oh right, we still haven’t gotten an apology for being told we are basically a department of Guatemala so I guess this will be placed on the back burner as well. In the end all I really want to say to our tourism minister is this: Since you seem bent on doing this whole racial profiling thing I suggest you start with the biggest drug dealers and child molesters hiding among the island’s expats – which would be the whites of North American and European descent. Just remember the old West Indian proverb: black man thief the plantain but the white man thief the plantation!!

  26. lol says:

    his proposed method of crime prevention makes me guffaw! If only criminals could be determined by appearance, so many robberies & assaults would be foiled. Many nowadays dress thug or gangsta (not always wise, but) this falls within the scope of their rights; even known “bad people” having paid their due to society are free to roam Bze without prohibition. Nonetheless, i am pleased the minister is doing his part to trim the budget, although he should not have opted to write his own speeches…

  27. macal rivera says:

    I am trying to understand Mr Heredia, and I think this is not the way to go, what government should do is change the laws and start to hang some of this criminal, keeping us black away won’t help, and as a black law abiding citizen I am tired too of all the crimianl activity taking place in our country, wether it is committed by a black, white yellow whatever color of skin, so its time to change the laws and give these criminals what they deserve.Government cannot be blame for all that is happenig, this are just bad individuals who want everyhting free, so they kill for any thing, once they get what they want, so Mr Heredia lets start with the Hanging, cause all this won’t get better.

  28. steve says:

    It is so sad that an elected official would say something so childish and demeaning. I cannot believe it up to now. Political corruption, Police corruption, no availability of education, racist people in politics. This is why most Belizeans never come back when they leave, because contrary to what we believe, Belize is an aristocracy to the core. The poor stay poor and the rich stay rich. It is evident since not even our teachers with a bachellors degree make taxable income. Yup, in Belize you make less than $12,000 US per year with a bachelors degree. Rediculous government

  29. sarteneja says:

    well i´´m white and i´´m Belizean by birth ancestry and any other way you put it. I think the minister should think before speaking next time. I personally think control of the police should be turned over to local level and local hiring by town council, tourist board or whatever. If locals were ploice then the police would care and do their jobs as a whole. The few that are good police have to shoulder a large burden because of the many who are lazy and unmotivated.

  30. Mr. Corn says:

    When I heard one of my Belizean workers telling his friend about this, I thought he was exaggerating so I got this website URL and checked it myself. I simply cannot believe this. I know that “Creole” is the term for Blacks in Belize, so this Heredia person, a lawmaker in your government, wants to ban Blacks from San Pedro; or at the very least, make life difficult for them so they won’t want to visit. This is nothing short of blatant racism. Even worse, he apparently has full government support since there was no outcry from anyone else in your government, and I understand your Prime Minister is Black himself. My wife is head of a travel consortium and we’ve visited Belize several times, but no more. We do not support racist regimes.

    Effective immediately we have stopped selling anything Belize-related and have put Belize on our “Do Not Travel” list. If Black dollars are not welcome on San Pedro or in Belize, then we’ll divert them elsewhere. Some of our clients have enough trouble with racial intolerance here in our own country and don’t need to be subjected to it while trying to relax on their vacations.

    Apparently Belize is descending the ladder of human rights and no one knows it. Since this dirty little secret never made CNN or MSNBC we’re spreading the word. We’ve contacted our ASTA representative so the travel industry as a whole will be made aware of this. We’ve also contacted our local chapters of the NAACP, the Urban League, and the Council of Black Led Churches so they can advise their members to avoid Belize. If Belize behaves like South Africa of the 80′s, then you should be censured like South Africa of the 80′s.

  31. Lost says:

    Belize sounds like a country so lost. People are corrupt and now the ones leading the country is corrupt too. I have always thought of Belize as one of the few places distinct in Central America, but to my surprise and dismay it is actually the worse and most undeveloped as well.
    Wake up leaders and see what your neighbors are doing so differently to prosper while little Belize stay so far behind.
    Provide jobs for the Belizean people and there should be a huge change in the society.
    Simple neighbor Guatemala and other countries are doing so much better.
    I am a Belizean but so sad to see how we fighting against our very own instead of trying to help each other to uplift and move forward in life.
    Prime Minister open yu eyes…

  32. ggp says:

    People of San Pedro stand up, unite, and get rid of this useless ‘minister’!he cant even speak to express himself, yet he has the audacity to say such racist and offensive statements! Belizeans have to stop electing jackasses like Barrow and mules like Herdia and start electing competent leaders!!!!!plain and straight!!!! RESIGN NOW HEREDIA. BELIZE IS FOR EVERYBODY!!!!!!

  33. Junito says:

    I believe by now Belizeans have realized that the UDP government is comprised of a bunch of DODO heads. They were only elected by default and not by qualifications. The sad part is that (jackass) Deano cannot even reshuffle his cabinet because absolutely no one is remotely qualified for any of the post. If he reshuffles its as if he’s doing nothing. This one man government has to stop. After all, they are notorious for being a ONE TERM government. We have a pitiful deputy prime minister that knows nothing about science or geology as our minister of natural resources, a light bulb changer as your minister of health, a drunkard as our minister of national security and the list goes on. Many Belizeans are just frustrated and patiently waiting to kick these guys out

  34. Oscar 965 says:

    Ever since i can remember, the “San Pedranos” have been critized. But why? Because in 20 short years a small sleepy fishing town with hard work, sweat and tears, has now been turned into the leading tourist destination. The town has grown from 2000 to about 20,000 residents. Most residents of all races and colors are hard working and have made San Pedro thier new home but how much must residents put up with all the crime and stealing that affects the community. It is so easy to steal, rape and murder and catch the next boat out of the island and just vanish away. I do not agree with Mr. Heredia’s solution but a something needs to be done. If not, the town which gives the highest taxes to the government will cease to exist. Those taxes have for the past 20 years helped to build the entire country not only San Pedro Town

  35. John Boy/Carson, California says:

    There is a problem in Belize , and not just SP. Black people is not the problem,so untill you get to the root cause of the problem Minister Simple Simon the problem will only get bigger.Maybe the next thing is to lynch all black people the way they in the old South.

  36. Elgin says:

    This is for you Tourism Sinister: Maybe you need to represent the KKK in Belize.From now on i am going to address you as the Tourism Sinister because that’s what you are idiot.

  37. maddyvandijk says:

    Heredia is not a leader, he is a terrorists and his pathetic outburst showcased his racist ideology, the creoles as the “parasite, the real criminals of Belize. Some of you here think the blacks are taking his words out of context, does this also mean that you are assuming the blacks are stupid too?

    Why would that idiot think that the blacks would accept this kind of behaviour, was it necessary, or was it because there just wasn’t enough hate this year?

    Yeah, this is what you can expect when you have aliens running your country.
    You’re either a Belizean, or you’re not. Belize is a land of character, and many races none of which can be appreciated, debated, or even acknowledged when someone utters the ignorant sentiment that the creoles are the “undesirables of the Islands” As if that remark should make the creoles feel love and appreciation for their country.

    The idiot should know that if he is saying that we are not all the same that erases justice.
    All the bickering over what should be done to eliminate crimes between the political idiots and it resulted in wasted humanity.

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