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Chamber of Commerce weighs in on Belize’s Crime Situation

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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018. 12:38 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) today issued a statement commending the members of the law enforcement involved in the interception of the drug plane and its cargo over this past weekend.

“This was good work and must be commended,” the chamber stated.

The BCCI says that they hope the interceptions continue and are followed by rapid convictions which will quickly become the norm instead of the noteworthy exception.

With regard to the crime problem continuing to plague ordinary citizens and directly impacting the Belizean economy, the BCCI said the following: In the year 2000, Belize’s intentional homicide (murder) rate was 16.6 per 100,000 persons. In 2002, that number spiked to 33.2 and has remained at that level or higher since then. This has earned Belize a spot on the top-ten list of countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

The Belize Crime Observatory reported that in 2016 and 2017 there were 138 and 142 homicides, respectively, or 36.4 and 39 per 100,000, respectively.

Other regional countries similarly plagued include Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Honduras.

The BCCI says that these unpleasant statistics show a national problem that has escalated under PUP and UDP administrations alike.

Recognizing the destructive nature of crime, the BCCI  calls on parliamentarians on both sides to live up to their oaths of office by using their positions of trust to enact and enforce lasting measures to arrest the recent spike of violent crimes.

“The ongoing epidemic of violent crime also requires all elected leaders, regardless of political hue, to work together to address the socio-economic causes in a strategic bi-partisan way. Only by acting in this way, transcending destructive partisanship and putting Belize first, can we stop corruption, eliminate poverty and reduce crime. Only through mature pro-Belize actions can we reduce crime to a level that removes us from negative international focus and once again makes our country a paradise in which to live,” the chamber’s release stated.

The BCCI says that it supports all measures aimed at permanently curbing the incidence of crime so long as those measures are within the framework of Belize’s laws and do not trample on our fundamental human rights.

The BCCI also says that it remains committed to continue working with Government Ministries, Civil Society Organizations, The Opposition, and all other stakeholders willing to lay down the foundations for a more equitable and sustainable distribution of economic returns.

“Our future, our destiny as a people is predicated on how good a job we do at stamping out corruption and reducing crime in all its forms, thereby ensuring that all Belizeans share fairly in the rewards and benefits of a prosperous Belize,” the release ends by saying.

 

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