Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2021. 5:29 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: From official statistics of the Belize Police Department, the Belize Crime Observatory (BCO) confirmed the official murder count figure as 102 for 2020, nearly 24 percent down from 2019’s 134.
The national murder rate, for the first time in seven years, dips below civil war benchmarks of 25 per 100,000 population; it is also the lowest in a decade and in fact the lowest since 2001, at 24.33 per 100,000.
Eleven women and 91 men were murdered in 2020, compared to 17 and 117 the year before.
But in Belize’s acknowledged murder capital, Belize City, not much changed. The Old Capital recorded the same number of murders – 47 – in 2020 that it did in 2019, but the murder rate is slightly lower as the population grew slightly. The percentage of the total grew from 35 to 47 percent.
No murders were recorded in Precinct 4, roughly equivalent to Belize City’s northwest, while nine were recorded in Precinct 3 (the northeast); 17 in Precinct 1 (the southeast); and 19 in Precinct 2 (the southwest). The figures for Precincts 1 and 2 are up slightly from 2019, while down for Precincts 3 and 4.
The BCO notes that the Southside especially saw beginning in March 2020, a series of States of Emergencies implemented, targeting gang operatives in specific parts of Belize City. There were also States of Emergencies and movement restrictions implemented to contain the spread of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Four of six districts recorded a fall in murders: Belize, Orange Walk, Cayo and Toledo; the others, Corozal and Stann Creek, saw slight increases.
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