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Shadow Minister Michael Peyrefitte asks for “urgency” in crime crisis

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Posted: Monday, April 25, 2022. 9:32 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Days after a public attempt to make gang members see reason through a joint appearance with visiting reggae artist Buju Banton, United Democratic Party shadow minister of National Security and former Minister and Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte says they are not seeing “urgency and care” from current Minister Kareem Musa.

The Opposition complains that its “common-sense” recommendations to address crime have been ignored and as a result, things have gotten even worse: in Eastern Division (the Belize District), there have been three more murders in the district, seven more robberies and two more home invasions in the first three weeks of April 2022 compared to 2021.

While the Opposition claims Musa is “hiding” from the press, Belizeans are hiding not only from the shooters, they can’t even trust police, if the viral video of an alleged “chokehold” of a civilian in Seine Bight is anything to go by.

Senator Peyrefitte goes on to question the comparison of urgency to address gender-based violence in the murder of Tracy Thompson compared with that of Dr Shanikka Arnold against Patrick Faber earlier this year (though no names were used). Peyrefitte claims the Commissioner was eager to intervene in the latter case “when there were political points to be earned from his minister,” but showed no similar urgency for cases such as Thompson’s, such that she paid with her life.

The UDP once more demands that Musa’s “experiment” in the Ministerial role end, “an exercise in arrogance that is preventing the implementation of common-sense solutions to arresting crime,” including a national security task force with wide participation; establishing a respected full-time conflict resolution committee that will work around the clock to prevent disputes from elevating into deadly beef; and making counseling services available for the security forces, which it claims suffers from weakened morale due to the pay cut and increasingly stressful confrontations with civilians.

The Opposition also calls on Special Envoy for Women, Rosanna Briceno, and Minister of Human Development, Dolores Balderamos Garcia to speak up on the recent cases as they did with Faber’s.

 

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