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Aug 20, 2021

Briceño Administration Takes Strong Arm Approach to Gang Violence

Prime Minister John Briceño says his administration is not walking back on its position against states of emergency as a tool to tackle crime. The Briceño Administration has come under criticism since a state of emergency was declared on Thursday.  Some are of the view that PM Briceño, who is on record criticizing the former administration for using this approach to deescalate gang conflicts, has now abandoned that position. This morning, when we caught up with PM Briceño in Caye Caulker we asked him about it. Here is what he told us. 


Prime Minister John Briceño

“I don’t think it is a matter that we were always against calling for a state of emergency. It is more that we targeted as to where the problems are, instead of throwing a wide blanket and affect a lot of people that has nothing to do with this. We believe that we must target it to areas. And, as Minister Musa explained to us, it’s just a small geographic area in Southside that is creating havoc, that they have tried as best as they can talking to them trying to mediate and tell them to hold it down. But, it seems that they don’t want to listen, and the only way we could really calm things down is to call for a state of emergency in a very small, targeted area.”


John Briceño

Paul Lopez

“What is your administration plan to address the increasing crime issue in Southside Belize City? As the Commissioner of Police alluded to, it is not solely the police’s fight.”


Prime Minister John Briceño

“Yes, it is the fight of the community. I think that is what he means. We are doing everything we can., but there is just a small group of people, maybe a hundred or two hundred that are creating havoc, and we cannot allow them to dictate how we live. Meaning, we need to go after these people that are creating crime without conscience, just out there shooting. It breaks my heart, this third former from St John’s, Casman that was shot randomly. I mean, if that is to happen to one of my kids, I would have died, honestly. A mean, he is fighting for his life and if he lives I am told he will not be able to walk. We cannot allow them to continue to terrorize them. So, we have to go to them with everything we have.”

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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