Since Wednesday night was a murderous night in Belize City, with three dead and 4 others injured from gunfire, the old Capital has been tense with the ongoing gang wars in the city. As tensions were felt throughout the city, and even the nation, we feel it only right to start our newscast with the report that no one was reportedly murdered last night in Belize City. As we showed you on Thursday, police say they are increasing presence in the city, and have detained some known gang members; although it was not clear if that detention was in attempt to solve the murders or for the protection of the gang members themselves, since no one has been charged.
Since then, the debate has begun on the new tactics being taken by the Belize Police Department to arrest the spike in crime, that saw a total of six murders dating back to last weekend. Essentially, the plan calls for more troops on the ground, with the spear points of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) and Quick Response Team (QRT).
While the police have vowed to pursue these enemies of the state, the People’s United Party (PUP) says that the GSU should not be allowed to participate in that fight. Its leader Francis Fonseca told PLUSNewson Friday, that until the Unit solves its image problems, beginning with leader Inspector Mark Flowers, it will continue to be part of the problem rather than the solution.
Francis Fonseca – Leader of the People’s United Party
“I really think that we have to try everything, but throwing more money at the problem does not seem to be working. Again, we do not seem to be dealing with some of the root causes of crime. There are initiatives that we support, in terms of trying to provide employment for some of these gang members.
There are initiatives like that that we support, but throwing more money at the problem does not seem to be working. Investing more in Education, we believe, investing more in some of these social problems. But the root causes are what we have to address.”
Speaking more generally, Francis Fonseca says the PUP’s offer to work with the Government remains open as this is a national issue, but that it demands more solutions rather than what appears to be more of the same.
The police have sworn “zero tolerance” for criminal activity.