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Jul 7, 2010

Grass Roots movement urges GOB to adopt Arms Trade Treaty

elut hall

The Belize Grass Roots Youth Empowerment Association (BIGYEA) is planning a community at mile forty one on the Western Highway called Harmonyville. It recently ran into problems when it was discovered that some of the landowners were not first time landowners as had been intended. Still, the group has also launched a community based plan to curb crime in Belize City and a second plan that would prevent the crime wave from reaching the country’s capital.  BIGYEA’s voice has now gone international.  One of the founding members of the group, Elut Hall, has just returned from an anti- crime conference in Port of Spain, the Capital of Trinidad and Tobago.  It was the Preparatory Regional Workshop for the Negotiation of the Arms Trade Treaty.  It was hosted by the Caribbean Coalition for the Development and Reduction of Arms Violence. According to Hall, the measures being discussed have been adopted by several developed nations outside of CARICOM.

Elut Hall, Representative, BIGYEA

“If a treaty like this was in place when that batch of grenades went missing, this treaty is asking for stricter measures in the way countries trade, import/export, and these types of arms.”

Jose Sanchez

It means that the government would be responsible?

Elut Hall

“Yes, it’s a treaty to legally bind all countries that agrees to this treaty to legally bind them to regulate they way they import and export arms. Because the bottom line is what the CDRAV is saying, if you look at us, the CARICOM countries, none of us are manufacturers of weapons. But who is getting the brunt end of it?  Us. Crime and violence is an epidemic for us, not only Belize, the CARICOM, so they saw it necessary to form a coalition. And like I said its very good now that the Canadians and the Australian government is now onboard”

Jose Sanchez

But they may also say that a lot of the arms are brought through illegal means, through our very porous border. Does it address that situation?

Elut Hall

“Yes, yes.”

Jose Sanchez

In the treaty itself, is there any particular item that you feel needs to be  pushed forward now?

Elut Hall

“Actually, the whole treaty, I think, is very important and is very beneficial to all of us.  This is a series of meetings that’s leading up to 2012. Because it’s not until 2012 they’re gonna put this treaty to the United Nations.”

Jose Sanchez

Is the next step then to speak to the Minister of Police, the Attorney General’s ministry? What is the next step, in regard, to get it implemented in Belize?

Elut Hall

“Well, that the whole reason, while I am grateful and was honored to go and represent BIGYEA, in a sense I was representing Belize too because no one from the government went”

The working group agreed to adopt several measures including presenting their findings to the CARICOM Secretariat.  Hall says that BIGYEA will seek consultations with the government to push Belize to join the Arms Trade Treaty.

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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7 Responses for “Grass Roots movement urges GOB to adopt Arms Trade Treaty”

  1. Junito says:

    Wishfull thinking that a treaty would stop the arms deal. Jose said it right…porous borders are where the arms come in smarty pants….its hard to stop. But atleast they getting their 15 seconds of fame on t.v

  2. James says:

    What can a treaty do to stop crime. Nonsense, that would never stop crime thats more of lip service than action coming from roots rasta ville.

  3. Proud Belizean says:

    Great job, Hall and BGYEA! The illegal importation of arms can be curbed by implementing strict laws and jail times. We got enough BDF to patrol the borders and make a difference.

    Junito, you seem to be intelligent. I was surprised at the end of your comment when you started bashing/hating on BGYEA. What are you doing to help your community??

  4. Belize It says:

    Before I make any comments on the matter, I would really appreciate a copy of the treaty. Is there any way news five can deliver a copy to the public. It was very effective, in my mind, when News 5 gave us the Guatemalan agreement documents to peruse. Let’s read the treaty and see where it can apply to Belize. After all, the treaty will most definitely require optimization in every country that adopts it.

    I support BIGYEA in every way. I really appreciate the movement. BIGYEA has good intention and I hope that as they grow they remain rooted. Great job guys, try and get us a copy to read.

  5. Al says:

    Many cars are driven from the US into Belize how thoroughly are these cars searched. Do they lift up all the seats and check underneath, do they check teh wheel wells of the cars. I believe that the road is a lot of ways these guns are getting in. I bet if they run the cereal nuimber of those guns confiscated through the US system they will find that many of those guns came from America through the back door. They need to track the route of a gun when confiscated to find out how the gun moved and landed in Belize. I bet you will find Belizean’s living in the US at the root of some of the gun black market.

  6. Earl Grey says:

    Criminals will always find a way to get a gun…. Give more guns/permits to up-standing citizens!!!

  7. Islander says:

    I bet you a 1000 bucks that the treaty will say that guns should be banned from the legal ownership by law abiding citizens.

    Funny thing is that the treaty will not apply to the criminals because honestly criminals do not give a f#@$ about laws. They are criminals, they are in the business of breaking laws so passing more laws will not help the situation what you need is ENFORCEMENT of the current existing laws.

    A prisoner with one year’s experience in the prison’s metal shop rehabilitation project and a lathe machine can make you a copy of a working submachine gun in a couple of days. In fact we dont need to go that high tech, the street kids already cut their …………………………………. and bang they got themselves a home made shotgun… The same can be done for any caliber…

    An arms treaty will do nothing at stopping these kids from making their own guns.

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