Following the increase of violent crimes in our country for the first half of 2016 with the most recent being the brutal murder and decapitation of Dangriga Pastor Llewellyn Lucas over the weekend, national security minister John Saldivar unveiled a new plan to fight gang related crime in Belize, during a press conference held on Monday in Belize city. The new strategy proposed by Minister Saldivar includes putting even more boots on the ground, and giving the much-criticized GSU the go ahead to crack down on gangs within the city. During yesterday’s press conference held by the PUP in Belize City, the party’s Deputy Leader Cordel Hyde criticized the Minister’s new approach stating that, that is not the way to go.
Honorable Cordel Hyde – Opposition Deputy Leader
“We have not stood up enough in the past, but we have to if we listen to the Minister of National Security on Monday is the same old solutions to a very serious problem, we are talking about hundreds of lives that have been lost on the Southside and their solution is more boots on the ground, they boast that they valid 850 additional police officers since 2012, half of those have been deployed to Belize City, all equipment in the world they boast of in terms of getting for the police so they are better equipped but yet still we have to hold this government accountable, the government is responsible for a portion in the budget of this country, we are talking about a billion dollars each year, we are talking about 8 million dollars over the last eight years, we are talking about 325 million dollars from Petro Caribe and yet still the CDB and the World Bank are saying to us that her is more poverty today than when the UDP took over eight years ago, is not that the persons on the Southside are some psychotic beams as the Prime Minister seems to think, is not that your son is different from my child or the child from Northside is different from the child of Southside or the mestizo kid that joins a gang in Cayo is different from the Creole or Garifuna kid that joins a gang in Belize City, is not a biological difference, the problem is of social conditions of social problem that we are facing, is a poverty issue, the minister of national security say that he is going to beef up and renew the mandate of the Gang Suppression Unit but that is not what we need what we need is a poverty suppression unit, what we need is to ensure that our kids don’t go to bed hungry, to ensure that they go to school every day, to ensure no matter where you live, no matter who your parents are, no matter who they voted for that you have an opportunity to go to school, that you have an opportunity to stay in school which would then translate into better opportunities for you.”
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