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Minister of Home Affairs says state of emergency on south side Belize City is just a ‘pause button’ for surge of violence

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Posted: Wednesday, August 3, 2022. 11:28 am CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: On Saturday, July 29, the Government of Belize declared a state of emergency (SOE) in the Lake Independence area of Belize City; an SOE that Minister of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries Kareem Musa said was necessary to address escalating gang violence.

Musa told the media this week that the shootings of Tevin Cacho, Darren Banks, and Alrick Smith happened in succession, and information gathered by authorities confirmed they were due to tensions between rival city gangs.

“The community is very tense, very volatile, and on edge at the moment. Like always say that a state of emergency is not, in any way, a solution to crime but it is a pause button to stop the surge,” Musa said. “Because the intelligence we were gathering after the murder of Mr. Smith was that tensions were very high and retaliations could be expected.”

Musa said that 31 people had been detained following the declaration and he feels confident that the measures managed to save lives over the weekend, and bring some semblance of peace to the community.

“It could have been a bloody weekend. Very swift action had to take place,” Musa added.

He went on to say that the current SOE in place will run for 30 days, though there are provisions that can extend it for another 30 days if necessary.

 

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