Three murders in only the first month of the year. It seems that crime is plaguing La Isla Bonita and it's raising some concerns. Is this the island we fondly remember?
Is the San Pedro Police Department doing enough to combat crime? Is the Town Council taking proper measures to secure the safety of the island? Will Government do enough to assist Ambergris Caye, the number one tourist destination in the country?
These are the questions island residents and visitors are asking? There is reason for concern; and although crime may not be out of hand yet, it's the right time to start taking strong measures.
The latest murder on the island took place yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, January 23, 2018, shortly after 5pm at the entrance of the San Pedrito Area where one person was fatally shot on the head and the other was injured. The deceased has been identified as Paul Jex who received a gunshot to the head and the other injured person has been identified as Dion Neal who managed to run away from the scene and collapsed in town and was taken to the San Pedro Poly Clinic for treatment.
Police have not given an official report on the incident but it is believed that the shooting is all drug related as Jex was just recently released from police custody only to be shot a few hours after.
As with most shooting incidents on the island, they are related to drug trafficking and gang wars. It's a price we have had to pay for all the development that has taken place in the past years. But is it something that we must accept as the price for progress? Crime is not rampant all around the island. Most incidents take place in remote areas of the island and among drug traffickers/gang members. It's not too late to take control. So far there have been no comments from the mayor and other authorities in relation to all the crime on the island.
Surely, with the help of local authorities, we can take positive steps towards securing the safety of our precious island. We need our Mayor, our Area Representative, leaders of the Opposition (PUP), our Police Department, everyone working together towards one common goal. Let's get to it, NOW!