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Jul 7, 2017

To Solve Crime Problem, Address Economy

John Briceño

This week, Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal has taken over the post of Regional Commander for Eastern Division South, replacing Assistant Commissioner Chester Williams. Vidal has publicly committed to continuing the community policing approach adopted by Williams, although he will leave the senior officer to continue mentoring gang members presently under a truce. Meanwhile, murders and violent incidents have spiked in the North and West, particularly in Corozal, San Ignacio and Belmopan. What links the two, according to P.U.P. leader John Briceño, is a feeble economy and the desperation of the base.


John Briceño, Leader, P.U.P.

“You can’t beat people into submission; you need to be able to talk to them and show them that there is a different way. And I believe that talking you can get much better results than trying to beat somebody into submission and we have seen some results what was taking place early on when Chester Williams was here working in the community. So I applaud his decision, and I have no reason to believe he is going to change from what he said. But what we are seeing now is that because of the success that has been taking place in the City, now some of these criminal-minded people have been leaving the City and going into other communities; and in those communities they have started to create problems. I think Deputy Leader Julius Espat gave an impassioned presentation, crying out for the families that have lost loved ones, and we see that there seems to be no evidence that we are finding the guilty people that have committed these heinous crimes. This is a direct correlation to the economy: we have an economy that is on its knees; we have an economy that has been collapsing, that has been contracting. People don’t have jobs, and if you don’t have a job and you need to bring food on the table and you get home and you see your three-year-old crying because he or she is hungry; people get desperate, and in desperate times, you do desperate things. Now I am in no way suggesting that that is the right thing to do, but people in desperate times do desperate things. We need to address the fundamental issues that are affecting this country.”

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