A friend of mine sent me an article from The Washington Times, an ultra-right wing newspaper, and the writer, Richard Rahn, called "A tale of two small countries", making a comparison between Belize and Cayman. Usually I wouldn't even bother to read a paper like the Washington Times, but this article grabbed my attention. The more I read it, the more I agreed with most of what the writer had to say, especially about the judicial system in Belize. I have written blogs before calling for an overhaul of the courts, to change the way they operate, take politics out of justice, and have a program that really gives witnesses protection from the criminals that get away with murder every day
I read Friday's news online, and two articles in particular illustrate the impotence of the judicial system. A man in San Pedro was charged with fondling a 5 year old that his wife was babysitting and was granted bail for the paltry sum of $500. The mothers' story was so heartbreaking and altho' you can't convict this pervert without a trial, the accounts of what he did demand that he should have been bonded over for a much higher price, one that he could never find the cash to pay and walk among the innocents. Sexual predators are treated like VIP's in Belize. The second article was about three men that were charged with murder and let go because the witness recanted her testimony. It is obvious that the woman was terrified and feared for her life. This sort of thing happens much too often, and so the brazen murder and mayhem continues unabated, without fear of punishment. This is totally unacceptable. What happened to witness protection?
This is the fault of both political parties. When will it dawn on them that we are now part of a global community, and that what happens in Belize doesn't stay in Belize anymore? The whole world is watching, and when there seems to be a breakdown in one of the most important branches of a civilized society, you will get articles like "A tale of two small countries".
I am not going to get into all this writer had to say about the corruption and poor governance, because I don't think that he spent enough time or knows enough about the Belizean psyche to come to those conclusions. What he is dead right on tho', is about an inept and corrupt judicial system. You have a better chance of getting away with attempted murder, murder, and rape or child molestation than stealing a loaf of bread. Stealing food to feed your family is much more dangerous than all the other crimes put together, and you will be dealt with severely. Give me a break!
There really needs to be an overhaul of this branch of government. As I said before, it should be free of politics. Both parties and the Bar Assoc. and laymen should get together, correct and change these ridiculous loopholes that criminals jump thru with acrobatic agility. Hopefully the article will be a wakeup call of our elected officials.
Commentary by pele
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