Thursday, November 18, 2010

COMMENTARY: CRY BELOVED BELIZE

Cry, beloved Belize, I hope that I am not being too presumptuous in borrowing this title from Alan Paton, the South African author whose book Cry Beloved Country, chronicled the terrible state South Africa was in during apartheid. Has anyone else noticed that for the past couple of years there is hardly if any good news in the newspapers or TV in Belize? Every day it is the same, so many people were killed, or shot, or stabbed, either by criminals or the police. Child abuse, both physical and or sexual is rampant and the culprits are rarely charged or received just a slap on the wrist. Murderers escape just punishment either because of witness intimidation or judicial negligence. Corruption is abound in the Police, Immigration and Custom departments, and there seem to be no serious effort to clamp down on the abuses.

I remember growing up in a Belize, always proud of our differences with the rest of Central America and some parts of the Caribbean. We always felt safe in the knowledge that we lived in a civilized country, where we had a 90% literacy rate, where you could trust the police if you ever needed them, where everybody was their brothers' keeper. You could go out at night and walk home at any hour, not worrying about your safety. Where children knew their places, and were kept in check by their parents and the communities in which they lived. That time is past, that time is no more. Today we are as dangerous, if not more so than most of the countries in our neighbourhood.

I understand that times have changed, but I also know that Belize is a small country, with a small population, which would lead us to believe that it could have a better grip on those that are causing our country to implode from within.

In Belize everybody knows everybody, and that is one of our biggest problems. I believe that draconian measures have to be taken to stop the madness before we become like Somalia or some parts of northern Mexico. I believe that the government of Belize has to reboot and reshuffle those heads of departments that are not functioning, and it's very obvious to everybody that there is dysfunction in the previously named departments. If new blood has to be brought in from outside these departments, then so be it. There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

We have to grow up as a nation and realize that in the global community in which we live, we have to have something to offer for there to be legitimate investments, and not from those cynical enough to just prey on our weaknesses and further drive us into oblivion. Politics should not play any part in the reclaiming of law and order, and the press also has a very pivotal role in the way the news is exploited and delivered.

Let us stop the insanity and start being able to reclaim the title "The Jewel".

Commentary by: pele


This blog is not responsible for the views expressed in the commentary segment; all views expressed are the responsibility of the commentator, not the owner of this blog.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well done Pele. We need our Belize to come back to where it was when we were teenagers. Too many greedy people in Belize.
We need you to run for Prime Minister or Compol.
Good luck in your writing and keep up the good work and interest in our beloved Belize.

Anonymous said...

Belize has been this way for far too long. I can't believe you can run a country in the West (Except for Haiti) the way Belize is being run. The legal system is a JOKE. It's like they're not taking our votes seriously.

Lawyers find all kinds of technicality to get murderers off the hook and bail set so low, it would be just better to discharged them on their own recognizance.

A thief caught with a $10. clock gets years in prison and a man raping a child gets a year. Really? WTF!!!

I would like to know why PM Barrow keeps flying around America and ignore or not dealing with the problems here at home? If I see one more splashing of pictures this year of him and his wife across the internet I will leave Belize.

We have REAL problems prime minister!!!!

Cherry Cadle said...

Very good article with very important view points.

The problem is that politics are the same everywhere. Most of the people that are running for office are not doing it for love of country, but to see how much they can fill their pockets and the ones helping them with their campaigns are doing it for the crumbs that are thrown their way after the election.

Such a shame that working hard and saving for rainy day is not in any one's vocabulary nowadays. It seems that honesty, respect, morals, family ties and God have been thrown on the way side in exchange for Materialty. Praying for the people to stand up and choose wisely on the next election. Vote for someone that has integrity, good morals and most importantly an exceptional record that will lead them to fight for the hearts of our nation.

To hell with party politics.

Bernard Adolphus said...

Crime and violence within Belize; to date this year there are 122 deaths from murder recorded and it's continuing.

The police and court system seemed to be failing due to improper investigative techniques and the very fact that witnesses fail to come forward. They are fearful for their lives which is a sad situation for our country.

There are so many contributing factors why crime and violence continue, man mental state, the environment, hunger,unable to provide for your loved ones,
unable to receive gainful employment and so on.

The government must find a way to discourage this sad state of affairs because it is giving Belize A Black Eye. We have laws, but they are not enforced; that is one of the main problems, the other one is corruption. Nothing will change unless the corruption stop.

I believe by now you are aware of the Bz$131 million worth of cocaine that was found in the middle of the Southern Highway.

Greed , corruption, and dishonesty out of control!!

Bernard

Pam said...

This is so sad!! I did not know this much crime was going on back home in my Beloved Belize;I haven't been home in so many years. This makes me so sad. I had so many innocent fun memories growing up in Belize; climbing trees, picking craboo in Pine Ridge in a large group, swimming in Big Pond, swimming in the lagoon, roasting cashew seed, etc, etc.

I can't believe our beloved little country has come to this. What can we do,all of us Belizeans living abroad?

Pam.

Lydia Tillett-Kinnard said...

Very interesting!! Looking back there is so much truth in that. Both my brother were killed in Belize one was killed by the police; they beat him so badly he had a fractured skull and water in his lungs and his liver in pieces from them, kicking him. They tried to sweep it under the rug with no success. Imagine killed by the police who was suppose to protect. Where is justice? Is it by tranferring the officers to another police station? Well, according to Belize justice it is.

Belize has escaped many disasters and if they, the government, it's people, don't turn from their wicked ways and turn to God only then will justice prevail. My other brother was killed in a home invasion and was tortured before they killed him. I can't imagine how many others have been killed this way yet the police cannot show for anything. I guess they are more involved in helping the drug traffickers than doing the duty that they were sworn in to do.

Yes, I am also saying CRY BELOVED BELIZE, CRY! CRY! CRY! Until true justice is served for these crimes that are being committed only then will Belize stop crying. We need real Police officers on the streets, let me take that back, we need God fearing Policemen on our streets and only then will justice be redeemed.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, for updating us with all the sad news that is occurring in our sweet Belize, some of the things that is happing down there I would never think in a hundred years would be happening.

Belize needs God!!

Best regards,

Jennifer

Ted said...

I know many of you will agree with me on this. The reason the situation is so bad in Belize is because of the corrupt politicians and the oligarchy system.

When Belize became an independent nation the only people that benefited from a higher education were the elites in our society. They did not share with the poor underprivileged Belizeans. It is still going on today, who gets the scholarships and opportunity to study abroad, the children of the elites. And see what we have today, countless murders of our poor black men. It's because of lack of education.

The elites in Belize think that if they locked down in their mansions that will save them!!

Who gets all the higher level government jobs?? Hello!!! the relatives of the ministers and many of them are unqualified.

Favors, pull-string, and corruption must stop. Come on PM Barrow, lets clean house. And while you're at it, don't forget your own.

Remember to stop by BTL, and the SSB!!!!

Ted

belriv@btl.net said...

The Belize we have known has long since departed- when from one another we became globally separated. It is time to grow the BELIZE that we have all always wanted - our tranquil haven of democracy -a Sanctuary for Humanity and our Homecoming in the twenty-first century.

Adalbert Tucker 1995.

Nick said...

Should we be asking some questions?

Can it be that what Belize is experiencing today the result of more than a decade of poor governance? Yet no one is held responsible. Is the current system of governance solving the needs of the majority?
Could it be that the pursuit of unwritten policies got us to where we are today?

We are now in a globalized economy. Are the leaders investing to position the country towards a competitive edge in the region or globally? What is the country doing with its high-value natural resources?

The “big problems” pointed out cannot be solved by politicians (regardless of party) alone. It requires long-term vision and strategy for public-private-communities to play their respective and collaborative roles to deal with the national challenges.

We have proven that we are good at crime and corruption. Are we to believe that we are not good at anything else? Is the Belizean creativity in crisis?

Belize needs to accelerate its progress and the leaders (political, private, civil, academic) must show or project strength and control. CAN WE??????

Josephine Smith-andrewin said...

I agree with everything in this article. I was in Belize recently and listening to the news on TV I could not believe this was the same Belize that I grew up in. If the Government doesn"t do something soon, the entire country will suffer. Tourism will slow down and Belizean Americans will be afraid to go back home to live. It is very sad because we love our country, but scared of the violence that has taken over.

The children without parental supervision, will follow the direction of their peers, so we know where that could lead. I hate to think that Belize is fast becoming a country to avoid. We have so many beautiful, natural wonders to see there.