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Jan 18, 2013

P.M. makes no apologies for meeting with gangs

In the wake of the brutal slaying of four reputed George Street Gang affiliates last week, government has come under attack in many quarters for what is considered as the state negotiating with criminals instead of taking the hard line. Just after the bodies were discovered, gang leaders from George Street were escorted to a closed-door meeting with the Prime Minister, Minister Michael Finnegan and Minister of National Security John Saldivar. But Prime Minister Dean Barrow denies that there were in fact any negotiations at all, and makes no apology for the fact that he and other political leaders stepped in. He says an undertaking between government and the gangs has held, and that there have been no murders or violent episodes since.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“There was no negotiation on this occasion. Getting these people to Belmopan and securing from them a commitment that there will be no effort at retaliation against the state by going after innocent civilians. I don’t think that constitutes a negotiation. We did secure that, [but] there was absolutely nothing that was giving in return. I heard these wild statements about the state paying the gang leaders forty thousand [dollars]. you know as well as I do that that money would have to come from somewhere within the public service out of the Ministry of Finance and there are so many watchdogs there that the paper-trail would have been disclosed and certainly people would have tipped off the media and the public. So that is absolutely untrue. For me, it was critical that when I face the public that afternoon. I should be able to say to the nation; we have the situation under control. If in doing that, I would have had to rely only on the accelerated policing efforts; that alone would never had been sufficient for me to be able to claim in good conscience that we had the situation under control. The engagement with the gang leaders and the securing of their commitment that they will not try to target innocent civilians backed up with the presence along with me of the Minister of National Security, the C.E.O. backed up therefore by the implicit and unspoken—and in fact this was made expressed—position that look the state is absolutely determined and resolved not to make this happen, we would want to know that our efforts at the kind of policing that the circumstances require, will be complimented by this undertaking from me. but either or either, the state will and must do what it has to do. We got the undertaking and in fact it’s been delivered upon. Nothing happened; there were these wild stories that panicked everybody, but as events have proven, I was in my view absolutely right in securing the type of commitment—which did materialize—and which resulted in my being able to say with absolutely truth, the situation is under control. So if I had to do it again, I would do absolutely the same thing.”


Prime Minister Barrow took the opportunity to chide those who he says have been making allegations that gang members were paid forty-thousand dollars each to keep the peace in this turbulent time.

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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26 Responses for “P.M. makes no apologies for meeting with gangs”

  1. Storm says:

    It’s a humiliation for any nation to have its leader crawling to the gangsters to appease them. He represents the law, and should treat the gangsters with the wrath of God, with a “terrible swift sword.” They should FEAR him, not make demands on him.

    With a sane PM, gangsters who walked into a room with him would walk out in handcuffs.

    What a disgrace.

  2. Bear says:

    Still no arrests. Where was Shiney when his mates were butchered?

  3. Ricky Malthus says:

    Barrow is just toying with the Belizean populace. Barrow is the Gang, so why would he destroy the tool that has catapulted and keep him in power. When the modern history of Belize is written, it will be evident that Barrow and his rude boys ( copied from the hardened streets of Jamaica) have kept Belize in fear and oppressed them with violence. We know the evil deeds and machinations of Barrow for decades now. Barrow is for the ” Status Quo” . The United States and Britain are watching and can bring this experiment called “Belize” to an end right now. What are they waiting for ? The suffering, misery, poverty, and general breakdown of law and order will not continue and Barrow and all the politicians must be brought to justice, they must be extradited to Washington, London, or the Hague for their crimes.

  4. sickntired says:

    Really?? Really?? No crime since then? According to all the news stations since then there have been shootings and attempting robbery. I guess it is not crime unless you the gang leader. And we should believe the upstanding gangs when they promise no more crime? Should i laugh or cry?

  5. Rod says:

    Now I can truly say that this pm is a total and complete loser makes me want to vomit .

  6. Belizean says:

    Of course not, not like we were expecting any either! He just likes to make himself look pathetic on t.v.

  7. Leo says:

    The PM of a sovereign country negociating with known criminals. Is not that a crime in itself? What makes this idiot think that will work? It did not work for Cesar Gaviria. Ask the wife and children of Luis Carlos Galan if you have any doubts.

  8. Eye in the Sky says:

    Also very BONKERS

  9. Bear says:

    Sad to admit it, Malthus, but I think you’re right. Barrow took his political model from from Jamaica, where the PM made a deal to protect the gangs, and they would support him.

  10. Southern says:

    He is for the gangs not for the people.

  11. The Honorable George Banner says:

    What the hell is happeing to our beloved country of Belize in 2013? Wake up Mr. Dean Barrow and control your country. What the hell is happeing to Belize? Maybe I nedd to run to Prime minister and retake the country and give our belizeans some hope. Again, what the hell is happening to Belize in 2013?

  12. rod mitchell says:

    Where is Sandra Williams of Corazul. I and her son would like a explanation. If you don’t know we could give you a whole new take on what is going on down there.

  13. jc says:

    The pup and udp are a criminal organization themself,not shocking that the leader of a mafia meets another

  14. barbara says:

    How very cheering, Mr. Ricky Malthus wants to take us Belizeans down into the years of the “Jim Crow” SLAVERY days . Us poor Belizeans depending on America / London for our defence. ..who by the way, dose’nt give a shoot about Belize, only its resources. If defending the country of Belize means wallowing in the mud and getting a bit of dirt on you then “RIGHT ON PM” For the sake of God do not hand over our country to Foreighners.

    In the gosple of mark Jesus said something interesting:

    On the other hand , no one can enter a strong man’s house and rob his possession unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he will rob his house. Mark 3: 27

    If we don’t deal with the strong man and rob him of his “possession “, we may find ourselves fighting smaller demons and never seeing the great changes we want, because the chief is left to do what he want. We have to first tie up the strong man.

    Instead of finding fault with the “PM” everyone should join fources with him to rid the country of these demons. Do not hide your brother or cousin, friend or neighbour under your bed. Bind them up and kick them out.

  15. CEO says:

    Mr PM the people you serve and the rest of the world knows this is a bad move but you have no apologies!

    So are you not wise enough or just too arrogant to know that it was a bad move?

  16. CEO says:

    Mr PM the people you serve and the rest of the world knows this is a bad move but you have no apologies!

    So are you not wise enough or just too arrogant to know that it was a bad move?

    No leader of any country should enter into any meeting with any lawless group or individual(s).

  17. Belizean Pride says:

    when someone has no apologies for his wrong it just shows how ignorant he is and it’s a shame its the pm of our jewel.

  18. Belizean Pride says:

    why the hell did you send them to cayo, there is like six of them living in a white building near the bullet tree falls road area not to mention the exact location but really we don’t need them in our town barrow.
    Tell me should we call the crime stoppers now and tell them where you have them living after you send them from the city to our town? And if we call the crime stoppers what will happen will they arrest them or you’ll keep protecting them?

    Can any one suggest what can be done with this scum bags.

  19. Disown mi country says:

    The leader of a country appeasing gag members is one of the most outrageous thing I’ve heard. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!

  20. Disown mi country says:

    The leader of a country appeasing gang members is one of the most outrageous thing I’ve heard. UNBELIEVABLE!!!!!!!

  21. Bear says:

    I don’t think we need to turn over our independence to the Brits or Yanks YET, but exactly what “resources” do we have that would cause them to take us back to slavery? It sounds like Barbara has been drinking some Kool-Aid from leaders living far in the past. Belize would be a burden, not a benefit, for any nation that took us over, except for the impoverished Guats, who need our seacoast, lumber, and our open land.

    At this point we don’t need foreign control, we just need a home-grown revolution with leaders wise enough to bring on stable democracy, with checks and balances to prevent more decades of theft and corruption. But maybe foreigners can help us tip the balance, like happened recently in the Caymans, where the PM ended up in steel bracelets. We have a Governor General, he could make such a change if London thought it was important to them.

  22. Louisville,Ky says:

    To my mind it’s not a matter of negotiating with Terrorist when the PM decided to meet with these so called gangsters. Yes they are a scourge on the Belizean society but, to get to better understand and get to the root cause of what their motives and schemes are, you must sit down and TALK!
    It is not a matter of appeasing the gangs but there is a reason why they do what they do. I personally believe when you got nothing, then you got nothing to lose. At that point not even the sanctity of life is of value to such an individual anymore.
    We listen too much to all this grown folks talk coming out of Washington and London about not negotiating with Terrorist and all kind of stuff.
    Maybe, just maybe 9/11 might not have happened had some one taken the time to sit down with Bin Laden. So, what’s so wrong with having a sit down and tell me whats bothering you so that I may tell you whats bothering me? Or we can stay away from each other and meet in the streets or pay you a visit and shoot up the place.
    Am just saying……

  23. cayobway says:

    @ belizean pride , we the people of cayo should unite and tie them up and float them down the macal river, let mother nature have it’s course with them.

  24. Louisville,Ky have gone bonkers says:


  25. Babash Baby says:

    ok ok ok

  26. richard roundtree says:

    Sandra Williams was murdered inside the Copa Banana Hotel in Corozal Town many years ago.

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