Posted: Thursday, January 2, 2020. 4:29 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: The Belize Police Department’s count of murders as of the end of 2019 is 134, a difference of nine from 2018’s figure of 143, though nowhere near what they would have liked – a ten-percent reduction which would have brought it to around 120.
The Belize and Cayo Districts continue to be hotspots for homicides, with three-quarters of the past year’s reports between them.
New trends, according to Commissioner of Police Chester Williams, have replaced the old. For example, where murders were previously committed mostly by criminal gangs in fights over turf and the drug trade, those deceased are more likely to have been killed by someone they knew, often someone they loved.
Another trend is persons being reported missing, often after socializing with friends, only to turn up dead later on elsewhere.
The murder rate, calculated at just over 35 last year, falls as a result to a shade above 34, still indicative of an ongoing state of war by international convention.
The figure will keep Belize among the most murderous countries in the world, and starting his second year as Commissioner, Williams will have to figure out how to reduce the number even further.
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