THINK ABOUT IT

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VICTORY FOR POLICE

The police have every reason to celebrate, two police officers were found guilty in the Supreme Court last month of beating a Maya male teenager to death in the Caye Caulker Police station.

This week the Judge treated their nine month in prison on remand as sufficient time served for the offence. They are now free.

The Judge is the best criminal trial Judge in Belize and we need to see his written decision to fathom this unusual penalty. We propose to comment next week.

 

SARSTOON RIVER MESS

Thanks to Wil Maheia, we are once again reminded how Guatemala has captured our half of the Sarstoon River. This is in violation of international law and is a blatant disregard for the Treaty signed by Guatemala and Belize to resolve the issue at the International Court of Justice-ICJ.

Last week’s incident on the Sarstoon also reminds us what a weak and defeatist government we have. Their response to Guatemala’s aggression is to say they will send a Protest Note to Guatemala’s government.

Since August of 2015 when Guatemala’s military took over our side of the Sarstoon River, our government has been playing us for fools. Any other country would have raised such a fuss and scandal against Guatemala at Caricom, Commonwealth and the United Nations, that Guatemala would have pulled out quick, fast and hurry.

Guatemala tested Belize and Belize showed it has no back-bone. Going to the International Court of Justice may turn out to be a good idea. But in the meantime we have a duty to move Guatemala out of our side of the river. Belizeans were told by the Prime Minister that once we vote yes to going to the ICJ; if Guatemala does not behave, Belize will apply to the ICJ for an interim injunction in which Guatemala would be Ordered to leave.

Guatemala is laughing at us and the ICJ. In fact and in international law, Guatemala has scored another victory against Belize. By Belize agreeing to go to the International Court while Guatemala is in possession of all the river, is a concession by Belize that Guatemala has the whole river. Belize did not lodge any reservations or protest at any time.

Think about it.

And think about this. Given the major lies and deception done by our government it is quite possible Guatemala has been allowed to annex the Sarstoon River with the tacit agreement of the government.

PRISON RIOT

There was a small prison riot of no more than 10 prisoners last week. It happened at the building called Tango11 which housed 119 prisoners. All those prisoners are on remand mostly for murder. Meaning they have not yet had a trial and they are unable to get bail.

Having a hundred prisoners, awaiting murder trials in one building sounds like a pretty unsafe situation.

The small riot involved taking three prison officers hostage for a short while. One officer was in a choke hold and the two others detained. One of these was a female officer. That she wasn’t gang-raped by the accused murderers was a miracle. But what is a female officer doing in the presence of murderers? To show how slack the system can be.

We need not describe what happened to the prisoners who took matters into their own hands in trying to express how fed-up they are with the inhumane treatment they rioted against. They were so badly beaten they had to be hospitalized. There was no official word on this aspect.

Human beings do not stop being human beings because they are prisoners. The prison must be a humane institution run on law and not on personal whims.

A big part of the problem is the absence of any oversight. There is no Ministerial oversight. In fact the same lame Minister and CEO who are “in charge” of the Police are in charge of Prisons. We all see how out of control police are – indiscipline, unprofessional, no regard for the law or the rights of citizens. Many police are given military uniforms and big guns and act with open impunity.

If this goes on in front of our eyes with police, imagine what happens to prisoners locked away from sight.

 

PUP- PARTY OF IDEAS

Our party leader and his executive should give consideration to this suggestion. Hold a one day or two days conference with stake holders coming up with solutions to crime crisis plaguing Belizeans.

Having accepted a number of good and feasible ideas, the area representatives and standard bearers should be required to discuss these with their constituencies in order to get their participation.

The People’s United Party are on track to winning the general elections. The party should now start to discuss and propose policies so that more voters can see the difference between the two parties. The UDP is bankrupt of ideas. The PUP is bubbling with solutions to problems.