The Belize Chamber of Commerce issued a release commending those members of law enforcement involved in the interception of the drug plane and its cargo over this past weekend. The release stated that good work as such must be highly commended in hopes that the interceptions continue and are followed by rapid convictions which will quickly become the norm instead of the noteworthy exception.
The release stated inregards to the crime problem continuing to plague ordinary citizens and directly impacting our economy, the BCCI comments as follows: in 2000, Belize’s intentional homicide (murder) rate was 16.6 per 100,000 persons. In 2002, that number spiked to 33.2 and has remained at that level or higher since then. This has earned Belize a spot on the top-ten list of countries with the highest murder rates in the world.
According to the BCCI, The Belize Crime Observatory reported that in 2016 and 2017 there were 138 and 142 homicides, respectively, or 36.4 and 39 per 100,000, respectively. Other regional jurisdictions similarly plagued include Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Honduras.
These unpleasant statistics show a national problem that has escalated under PUP and UDP administrations alike. Recognizing the destructive nature of crime, the BCCI now calls on parliamentarians on both sides to live up to their oaths of office by using their positions of trust to enact and enforce lasting measures to arrest the recent spike of violent crimes. The ongoing epidemic of violent crime also requires all elected leaders, regardless of political hue, to work together to address the socio-economic causes in a strategic bi-partisan way. Only by acting in this way, transcending destructive partisanship and putting Belize first, can we stop corruption, eliminate poverty and reduce crime. Only through mature pro-Belize actions can we reduce crime to a level that removes us from negative international focus and once again makes our country a paradise in which to live. The BCCI supports all measures aimed at permanently curbing the incidence of crime so long as those measures are within the framework of our laws and do not trample on our fundamental human rights.
The BCCI remains committed to continue working with Government Ministries, Civil Society Organizations, The Opposition, and all other stakeholders willing to lay down the foundations for a more equitable and sustainable distribution of economic returns. Our future, our destiny as a people is predicated on how good a job we do at stamping out corruption and reducing crime in all its forms, thereby ensuring that all Belizeans share fairly in the rewards and benefits of a prosperous Belize.