GOB will continue to pay 13 gangs – …now the gangs have Ambassadors
Thursday, May 3, 2012, 20:01
Belize City, May 2, 2012
The Barrow Administration says it doesn’t have money for salary increases for public officers, teachers, nurses and police officers, but it can find hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay gang members.
Having already spent over $1m to pay gang members to keep the peace, the Government announced through Restore Belize that it will continue its “gang truce” program.
The truce had been hanging on a thin thread for weeks and it recently imploded when the leader of the dominant George Street gang, Shelton “Pinky” Tillet August was gunned down. This erupted into fury in the streets, panic among security officials, and fear for senseless reprisal in the public.
The crime frenzy heightened when Arthur Young, the leader of the gang that is the rival to George Street, was gunned down at the hands of Police.
Over the last two weeks, almost a dozen persons have been killed due to gang rivalry. It is clear the gang truce, as it is currently formulated, has not worked. One cannot buy peace and gangs are illegal. But don’t tell that to the Barrow Administration. Under their watch the gangs have gained notoriety, prominence and recognition. Gangs have gone from issuing press releases, to suing the Government to now naming Ambassadors. That’s right, according to Restore Belize, the gangs have been asked to name a representative who will sit around the table to negotiate the truce. Someone will just replace Pinky and Arthur and the failing cycle will likely just repeat itself. In several of these meetings, the presence of the Prime Minister is demanded.
This must be upsetting to hardworking cane farmers, rice growers and citrus growers who have not gotten an audience with the Prime Minister for many years.
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