Cabinet Clueless – Country Under Siege

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Thursday, June 6, 2019

Nobody in the country knows if the Prime Minister is concerned about the crime in Belize. Nobody knows if he is even conscious of the crime in Belize, and the state of general lawlessness, but he must be since he never goes anywhere without a bunch of bodyguards and security in tow. Nobody knows if Mr. Barrow is even in the country, because he is out, more than he is here. It seems now that when you hear anything about the Prime Minister, it is a release from the Government Press Office stating that he has left the country on personal leave, or medical leave, or some such thing. Belize is a country without an effective leader. And it is clear to see.

Commissioner of Police Chester Williams got up this week and said what he needed to say in the wake of a terrible triple homicide. But he looked weary. And he was frustrated. Because what the Commissioner now understands is that unless there is a political will from the people in power, crime-fighting will continue to be ineffective. That is the bottom line. And this government – including the Prime Minister and the person who calls himself the Minister of National Security, have no political will to really address crime in any meaningful way.

Whenever John Saldivar has been asked about crime, he has found a way to blame the media. According to this rocket scientist, because the media reports on murders, then the media is somehow responsible for the escalation of murders? That is his brilliant deduction. But then again, this is the same man who was best friends with a known con-artist and extortionist, the man accused of beheading Pastor Lue. So his judgment certainly cannot be trusted. Although Saldivar behaves as though he is doing big things, the fact is that under his watch, murders have gone to their highest level in our country’s history. He cannot run away from that. With all his pontificating and blustering and wheezing, the facts speak for themselves.

Our country is at a dangerous point, and it is getting worse each and every year. We are not only seeing more murders, we are seeing more brutal, cold-blooded, brazen murders. We are seeing murders in broad daylight, in front of witnesses. We are seeing armed robberies where the robbers don’t even bother to put on masks or hide their faces. Just this past weekend, Sunnyside Bakery in Belize City, an institution in the Southside, was robbed. Then there was the robbery in Dangriga, and so many others. Our people are living in fear. Our business owners conduct transactions behind metal shutters. We are not safe in our homes. Principal Alarice Andrewin was executed, shot twice in the face, inside her home where she should have been safe. Two other person with her were executed in brutal fashion, shot in the head.

One of the main reasons for our criminals acting the way they do is because they have no fear of being caught. And if indeed they are caught, they know it is more than likely they will walk free. Our conviction rate speaks for itself. Why should criminals be afraid to break the law when they know that there will probably be no punishment?

The Prime Minister needs to stop flying all over the place, and needs to remember which country he is supposed to serve. This government needs to get serious about crime, and to utilize input and resources from every entity and organization which has reached out to offer help, including the Opposition. Without the political will to fight crime, and all hands on deck, this country is lost.

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