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Oct 6, 2010

What’s next for Restore Belize?

mary vasquez

Since its launch in June, government’s initiative to tackle crime and violence with an ambitious undertaking known as Restore Belize has been met with a degree of skepticism. The initiative, for the most part, has been overshadowed by the theme song for its I Am Belize campaign which was launched a few weeks later.  Well, the September Celebrations are over and the ubiquitous jingle has lost momentum on the airwaves.  Belizeans are now left to wonder what’s next for Restore Belize. Executive Director Mary Vasquez says that Restore Belize is still hard at work even if it has fallen into the background.

Mary Vasquez, Executive Director, Restore Belize

“People want to see perhaps less crime on the street. They want to see specifically less shooting. Trust me, we all want that too. The center of what we are doing. But Belize City did not get to this state of violence in one year much less in three months, so it will take a lot more than three months to fix it. And it’s painful to say that because that means that people continue to be very vulnerable to violence on the streets, so it is painful to say that. But we have to accept the reality so that we can remain focus on getting to our objective which is once we address the social and economic problems, we will see the need for crime and the expression of violence on the streets reduced. That’s the plan, but that cannot happen overnight, unfortunately.”


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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4 Responses for “What’s next for Restore Belize?”

  1. Ocaso says:

    Mrs. Vasquez hit the nail on the head in her explanation for the less than instantaneous results expected by the public. Sad as it is to say we will have to watch as the body count continues to rise in the coming months and years. The fact is that this whole mess began after Hattie with the mass exodus to the U.S. when scores of young people were left to be raised by their grandparents and relatives. No one denies that the barrels and cash from the north have helped a lot but there is always a price for chasing the almighty dollar and this, sadly, is the worst possible price. The damage then, can only be reversed very slowly and painfully but our own little contributions here and there can only help.

  2. Manford says:

    For every action there is equal or greater force of reaction. There are many contributing factores when add together is the cause for break down of the social fabric of society. Before the hurrican of 1962 the country was almost isolated from the out side world and its influence. Many Belizeans went to the United States and realize whatever their dreams and aspirations were. Those that were weak minded chose the low road and become a menace to society which at times seem to over shadow those that are making great contribution to the society with the knowledge they gain from the United States.

    Many who left for the United States after 1961 hurricane did so to rid themselves of the rampant poverty that they grew up in and long for the day when they could live in a decent house with all the comforts of life, and they proved it by sending their hard earned funds to build their houses and gave their children they left behind a better life. They had no idea that for some it would contrbute their delinquency. If we fault them for doing so, then we should fault God for creating us with the freedom of choise, human beings with will dignity. Make no mistake, there were always pockets of underground criminals in Belize, except for the fact that killing were at a very minimumas the death penalty was the ultimate punishment if found guilty of first digree murder. Because we had a colonial Master it was kept at a higher level,but high petty crime was very much the order of the day. Many big merchants were caught with undeclared merchandise, such as rist watches stuff in big children dolls. The children of those parents who are still alive, who if read this posting know exactly who I’m referring to. And like today,they never spend a day in jail, while many struggling Belizeans did time for handling a few stolen goods and selling illegal lottery.

    This comment is not to give justification for any kind of criminal activity, only to inform, because I can say with conviction that no matter how hard it get, there is an honost way to change bad circumstances without indulging in criminal activities. It start with believing that one has a personal relationship with a higher power for good, respect for oneself, care for others as for oneself, which means that we won’t do unto others that which we will not do to ourselves; THE GOLDEN RULE.

  3. tek it says:

    A lot of people forget that Belize has been subject to trailer loads of white color crime that mostly went unnotice….until the 1980′s when the great US of A brainwashing machine, the cathode ray tube of deception, seeped into Belizean society en masse and currupted the very fabric of this nation and that is the youths; before then no one cared about materialism, or glorified violence or worship false idols in entertainment business…after that it was down hill and still going, in those days kids have parents who parented their children – strict discipline, these days most parents (grandparents) have no freaking idea what their kids are doing of where they are going – Breaking News, Breaking News….16 year old murder, grandmother interviews, “…well he came home around 6 p.m. and around 10 p.m. left home again….” – this is almost standard verbatim these days when you parent or grandparent is interviewed about their murdered loved one; what the hell is a 16 year old doing out at that time of night?

    No parenting, no guidance, no one cares until its theirs; kids don’t care, locked up frustration, murderation in this great nation.

    Cops can’t fix our social problem, it is society killing society, cops or GOB or not anyone can do this but us…and it has to start with parents and discipline at home and discipline in school, but we are now puppets to the first world developed country; we are no their slaves/servants because we barrow so much money, example from the European Union, which is dictating to us that we can have corporal punishment anymore; we are being overran by Asians who have already taken over our entire food supply and when one of them is killed and they shut down their stores country wide, only then do we realize who has the real power in this country.

    In another part of the puzzled, we have the DEA/CIA who is making sure that all the cocaine flows through belize; if you believe that all the money they give us and equipment they give us is for fighting drugs, you are out your mind – all propoganda, public relations b.s.

    Most people have NOOOOOOOO IDEA what is really going on in Belize, it is all departmentalized so we can’t put together the big picture – to sum it up, our natural assets are being taken over and raped – society fracture and desperation and crime is a just a guise to get people’s attention pointed in the ‘wrong’ direction and we march on all the crime, but we don’t march when plane loads of chinese immigrants (or whatever) hit our shores with suitcases of cash; nor do we march when our leader lies to us on a daily basis and i can go on and on and on….

    When people in this country snap the hell back to reality and stop have blind allegiance to political parties and have that same blind allegiance to their country….then we will be able to get things done.

    No fate but what we make.

  4. Eddy Ferguson says:

    First all, with the new generation in Belize, it’s all about violence and murders. The prime minister has not been able to stop the violence and make Belize a welcome place to live and visit, anymore. We need to get the guns out of the hands of the criminals and off the streets. And comes 6:00 pm., downtown Belize looks like a curfew state.

    The stores are closed probably because of the violence, and the movie theaters are gone. It seems like everybody stays home and watch TV. There are nobody on the streets at night anymore, so I’m suprise that there is still so much violence in Belize. Remember when downtown Belize store front lights was on until 10:00 pm at night, and the public felt safe to walk the streets. Well, the prime minister need to bring the stores and movie theaters back, turn the light back on with no fear….

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