Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Death Of Canadian In Belize Police Custody


CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO DEATH OF CANADIAN WHILE IN BELIZE POLICE CUSTODY IN CAYO

On Sunday 27th January 2013 at approximately 6:30 am, San Ignacio Police checked Cell No.3 where detained person 35 year old Canadian Jeffrey Donald FURGALA was seen in the Cell lying face up and when called he was unresponsive. A physical check was made on his person when Police noticed that he had some blood in his nose and was apparently unconscious. As a result, he was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital for medical treatment. He was later transported to the KHMH on 27th January 2013 where at 11:00 am he was in a critical condition and was to undergo surgery. FURGALA was pronounced dead at 11:15 pm on January 29.

Initial investigation indicates that FURGALA was detained on Saturday 26th January 2013 at 10:12pm in the Savannah Area San Ignacio Town, apparently under the heavy influence of alcohol and since he was unable to give an address where he resides he was kept in custody for his own safety. However, witnesses in the other cell blocks indicate that on Sunday 27th January 2013, sometime around 01:00 am they heard a loud sound which sounded like someone falling and thereafter a loud snoring coming from Cell No.3 which was where Jeffery Donald FURGALA was detained.

The Commissioner of Police has since launched a criminal and internal investigation into this incident as of Sunday January 27 to be conducted by members of the Criminal Investigation Branch and Professional Standards Branch respectively.
Via Capital NewsPost

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Stars And Stripes Forever: Obama's Immigration Plan

Stars and stripes forever!!!

For those of you who think that they are just going to hand out welfare checks to these people, you are mistaken. This is a path to citizenship not a golden ticket, they still have to earn their rights. Even if it did become easier for them to get a government handout I don't think many of them would take it. Illegal immigrants often work twice as hard as many Americans and they are willing to do jobs that most Americans won't.

I believe this will help the country. These people believe in the American Dream, they don't have the opportunities in their country and that is why they are here. With immigration reform making this path accessible, their money will go into the system. Between taxes and spending money on cars and houses they will only help the economy.


At this moment, it looks like there's a genuine desire on the part of Republicans and Democrats to get this done. And that's very encouraging news for Belizeans across America to get out of the shadows into the light.

Read Full Speech Here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/29/read-president-obamas-immigration-proposal/

Friday, January 25, 2013

PUP Cayo Party Chairman Killed In A Home Invasion In Cayo, Belize

Peoples United Party (PUP) Cayo Central Chairman Steven Valencia was just killed this morning in a home invasion at his home on La Loma Luz Blvd in Santa Elena, Belize.

Police suspect that access was gained through a back door which was found broken. All they took was the $7 he had in his pocket, said his 6 year old daughter who witnessed the incident.

Does being a man and having honor means killing an innocent person? I want to believe that human life means something in Belize. Where is the highest values of integrity, caring, compassion, social justice, truth, personal peace and harmony gone, and what kind of depraved mind will kill a man in front of his 7 year old daughter?!

As a nation, we have lost all respect and regard for human life, and until our values are reversed in that respect, we can expect more horrendous tragedies as was witnessed in Santa Elena this morning. We have created in the last 30 years a culture based on our idolization and emulation of much of what's produced in North America. Materialism and lack of early parental supervision is a constant contributing factor to our lost moral soul as a nation. Need I say more?

My thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Valencia. 


OFFICIAL POLICE REPORT: 

 San Ignacio Police are investigating a shooting incident that has left 40 yrs old Steven Michael Valencia dead. Just before 9:00pm on Thursday, January 24, 2013, police were called to Valencia’s residence on Loma Luz Boulevard, Santa Elena Town Cayo District, where his lifeless body was seen in one of the bedroom in a pool of blood with apparent gunshot wounds to the upper back, right foot and right thigh. 

 Initial investigations revealed that about 8:45pm on said date, Valencia was at home with his two daughters when a noise was heard coming from behind the house and at the same time, the back door was stamped open and two dark complexion male persons, unmasked, entered the house, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, ordered him to lie on the floor, demanded money and fired shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Valencia’s body awaits post mortem examination and police are investigating.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Public Education Campaign On Guatemala's Territorial Claim to Belize

ADDRESS OF HON. FRANCIS FONSECA, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON LAUNCH OF PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN:

Public Education Campaign – Launch
January 23rd, 2013
Belize City

We meet this morning to launch the Public Education Campaign leading up to a Referendum at which the Belizean people will be asked to vote Yes or No on the following question:

“Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?”

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the question that will undoubtedly dominate our national conversation and consciousness for many months to come.

Our People’s United Party is obligated and committed to being a part of that National Conversation. Our Party’s National Executive meeting at Independence Hall on October 20th, 2012, made the following decisions:

1. The People’s United Party will participate in the Public Education Campaign. That participation has already began

2. Our Party will engage in an internal education campaign for its members and supporters at the end of which the Party will convene at Party Council to adopt its official position on this question.

3. The Public Education Campaign must be free from bias and must present to the Belizean people a comprehensive, objective analysis Not only of the proposed question, but also of the benefits and risks inherent in submitting ourselves to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.

The proposed question itself leads to important further questions.

1. What is in fact Guatemala’s “legal claim” against Belize?

2. What specific land, insular territories and maritime areas form a part of the claim?

3. What exactly is the role and function of the International Court of Justice; and how is “final settlement” defined by the Court.

These are questions to which the Belizean people must be given clear, comprehensive answers.
Similarly the arguments for a Yes or No vote must be exhaustively advanced and discussed. Those who support going to the I.C.J. argue that it represents a final and definitive settlement of the long – standing Anglo – Guatemalan dispute and Guatemala’s claim to Belize, and can lead to new opportunities for funding National Development Programs and Border Security.
They find comfort in the legal opinions of leading international lawyers who view Belize’s Case as Iron – Clad.

Those in support of a “NO” vote anchor their arguments in Belize’s Independence and Sovereignty, our history of development and international recognition, and our right to self- determination. Why risk all this, they ask, before a supranational institution which may not have our interests at heart, and whose history is skewed toward compromise.
And they ask, “Is Guatemala serious this time?”

Indeed Belizeans have every justification for being filled with skepticism and cynicism as it relates to Guatemala’s good faith commitment to the process we are currently engaged in.
Our very own Ambassador Jim Murphy writing in the Belizean Studies Volume 26 No. 2 of December 2004 asked: “Does anyone in Guatemala really want to bring this thing to an end?”
His conclusion:

“Guatemala declares valid and binding treaties VOID; in effect denies the course of 350 years of historical development in Belize; disputes the validity of United Nations resolutions; calls the right of all peoples to self-determination, a principle of international law, irrelevant; fails to implement agreements reached; stages military threats even in the midst of negotiating, sanctions illegal squatter settlements near the border in Belize; and undermines Charter Commitments to the peaceful settlement of disputes. Not exactly a reassuring track record for resolving outstanding differences via the I.C.J. or otherwise.” (End of quote)

The Guatemala claim is an issue of deepest concern to Belizeans who are justly proud of our nation and guard our national territory jealously. The right of Belize to its territory is confirmed by the principle of self-determination, a well-established norm of modern international law. This means that Belizeans were entitled to determine our future and did so upon attaining Independence in 1981. Our right to self-determination was recognized virtually unanimously by the members of the United Nations and Belize was admitted as a member in the full knowledge, by the members, of Guatemala’s claim.

This did not mean that Guatemala’s claim, although unfounded, went away. Belizeans have grappled with this unjust claim, for decade upon decade, and have, as a people resisted, with every national fibre, any formulation of “Belice es nuestro”, in every political and international forum possible, loudly, vigorously and consistently.

There must be no doubt that it is the PEOPLE of Belize who will decide how this most serious matter will be decided. That is what our Constitution mandates – that is your guarantee under our Constitution – that the people of Belize must approve any solution to the Guatemala Claim. You are being asked to decide. You are the ones who MUST be consulted, and whose OPINIONS, VIEWS, and VOTES ultimately decide if we go – or not – to the I.C.J.

Citizens are therefore challenged – to learn as much as you can about the claim, and the history of the claim, and familiarize yourself with Belize’s position, learn the pros, the cons, the risks and the advantages of taking this matter to the I.C.J. – not only do you owe this to yourself, you owe this to your children and their children in turn

I ask you today – study, reflect, discuss, debate, argue, challenge, absorb – but take this issue seriously so that in the years to come, you know that you made a difference in your nation, in your home – that in her hour of need, you responded to the call and defended the Jewel. History expects no less of any of us.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Education Campaign we embark upon today will further test our already fragile sense and spirit of national unity. There are good people who wish to vote NO and there are good people who intend to vote YES. We must all understand and respect that.

- This issue must not and will not further divide us. After all, above all else, we are proud Belizeans.

ENDS



Friday, January 18, 2013

Former Belize Prime Minister’s House Riddled With Bullets

The house of Belize’s Former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, was riddled with bullets on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. Musa and his wife were just about to go to bed when they heard about six shots in rapid succession; upon making checks outside their windows they didn’t notice anything suspicious and went to bed. It wasn’t until Wednesday morning when Mr. Musa noticed that his house had been hit by bullets.

According to news reports in the city, Musa got up at about 6:00 a.m. and upon exiting his house he noticed that his front door had been hit with what he believed to be bullets. He made his way out of the house and noticed that his wife’s vehicle had been hit and drove off to the Princess Hotel where police are stationed nearby and made a report.

Although no one was injured, police recovered six expended shells in and outside of Musa’s house compound which is located on the corner of E Street and Princess Margaret Drive in the King’s Park Area of Belize.

But why would anybody shoot at the home of the former Prime Minister? Well according to a shaken Musa, both he and his wife had received death threats at their work places in mid-December 2012 but never thought something would actually happen.

Knowing the danger they might be faced with, Musa has accepted the offer of police protection for himself and his family. Police have no suspects at the moment and the residence of Musa remains under guard. (News source – Channel 5 Belize and 7 News)

Via http://www.ambergristoday.com/content/stories/2013/january/18/former-prime-minister%E2%80%99s-house-riddled-bullets



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Presenting Belize's New Ambassador To Canada

Ambassador Nestor Mendez is Belize's new High Commissioner to Canada. Mr. Mendez presented his credentials to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Ottawa on Wednesday.

With the added responsibility as Belize's chief diplomat in Canada, Nestor Mendez is also Belize's ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the United States of America and permanent representative to the Organization of American States. 

Huge Congrats Mr. Ambassador! It's a huge task and a lot of responsibilities.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Elementary School San Jose Village Orange Walk-Belize

Belmopan, Monday, 14th January, 2013: A new school building that will benefit over 434 students of San Jose Village in the Orange Walk District was officially inaugurated this morning by the Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega.

The San Jose Government School project was implemented by the Social Investment Fund in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and was financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) at a total cost of $461, 875,000.

The works scope for the project included repairs to a building measuring 26 ft by 70 ft long including the removal of the existing roof system and replacing it with reinforced concrete slab and beams; installation of solid timber doors and aluminum windows with security grilles, upgrading of the electrical system, replacement of existing celotex partitions with metal structures and painting of the walls.   

The project also included the construction of a first floor  above the repaired building measuring 26ft by 64ft long.  The ground floor will house 3 classrooms while the first floor will house two additional classrooms and a computer room. Construction of male and female bathrooms blocks equipped with separate units to serve students with special needs were also included as part of the project.  Other works included repairs to the staff bathroom block, upgrading of the school’s kitchenette and supply of kitchen equipment, school furniture and repairs to the school building adjacent to the newly constructed building. These repairs included painting and replacement of fascia boards. The school contributed $3,500 towards the project.

San Jose Village is the second largest village in the Orange Walk District and is located some 8 miles from Orange Walk Town. The village has 2,533 residents.  The first settlers of San Jose came from San Estevan Village.  Most of the residents are engaged  in sugar cane farming, but some are also engaged in the construction industry.

The San Jose school has an enrollment of 434 students and a staff of 18 teachers. In recent years the school registered a 13% increase in student enrollment placing great pressure on the school’s infrastructure. However, with the new project, students and teachers will now have ample space and a healthier educational environment.

Other speakers at the official inauguration of the school building included Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, representatives of the Social Investment Fund and the Management of the San Jose Government School.

For further information, please contact Mr Mike Hernandez Jr. (Sr. J.P.), Director of Public Relations of the Social Investment Fund at Tel: 822-0239, email at mike.hernandez@sifbelize.org or Cell No. 634-4002.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Who Was Keino Quallo? By Aria Lightfoot


Who was Keino Quallo?  Many people see a black unshaven face and a headline.  “Four Gangbangers brutally murdered”. He matches what people think a “gang” banger looks like.  They have no idea of who he is or where he came from, what led him down his path. All people know and feel is that they are stricken by fear because of violence. Any solution, even state-sanctioned murder, is an acceptable solution. The thinking is, he was a menace to society – so who cares, he probably have killed many more people and getting his just desserts.

Not so fast…

I met Keino in High School.  I must have been about 14 years old, my second year in High School and he was one year ahead.  Keino arrived in Belmopan with such notoriety.  He was arrested in the U.S. for drug trafficking at the age of 15 years old. His father was a well-known attorney, Glenford Quallo, was recently murdered.

Keino popularity grew fast at Belmopan Comprehensive School. He was charming, articulate, athletic, tall, and very intelligent.  He was a snappy dresser and carried himself with a lot of confidence, therefore the women flocked him.  We became friends because my best friend was dating his friend at the time.

I found him very interesting.  His experiences and world -view and his perspective on different issues. He was, if I recall, a die-hard PUP supporter and in my mix of friends we had both die- hard PUP and UDP supporters. Our discussions would range from politics to law to life.  My God we were only 15 at the time!  We also shared sports in common.  We both played basketball and played on the school teams so we travelled all over Belize playing sports.

About a year into our friendship, we started dating.  He was a generous and extremely loving boyfriend and my parents would have none of it.  He gave me  gifts that I had to return a day after it was given.  My mom was concerned about his reputation and well my dad probably would not have approved even if Jesus were the suitor. In Belize, there really are no rooms for mistakes or second chances. I would fiercely defend him to my mom because I knew him far more than the reputation that followed him.

We became very close when my mother got sick.  He was truly my rock during that very difficult time in my life.  We would study together, have future plans and we trusted each other.

Maybe my mother’s death signaled a change in our relationship. Maybe death had him reflecting on the death of his father and changed him. He reflected often in his life.  If wishes could come true, his father would still have been around.

At this time we were both a SJC 6th form.  I remember passing all my CXCs and he thought that I always seem to have successes and he seems to be marred with failure. I was too young to understand how much of a deep thinker he was.  His observation not a jealous thought, but he felt that society would not think he was somewhat good enough…eventually; I began to see changes in him.  He drew back. He did not want to ruin my future he claimed.    He began showing signs of depression and he decided he would push me away, flaunted other girls until we eventually broke up.  Depression is quite common in young men at this age I have learned.

We kept our distance from each other.  We both moved on with life, and then one day I heard he was shot based on an argument he had with someone. I called his mom and Keino and I reconnected as friends only.  Did he go back and shoot that person. NO HE DID NOT.  Isn’t that what a gang banger would do?

Keino grew up on George Street.  He made friends with many of the young men of that area. He became a youth officer because he recognized the neglect in opportunities afforded to them.  He reached out to many people who today are probably calling for the death of these young men because they thought they thought he was wasting his time. He was empathetic; he was a loving person and may have been the least materialistic person I know.

In 2001, I moved from Belize to pursue my studies in the U.S.  I would call him on his birthday each year or call him when I visited Belize just to see what he was up to.  I didn’t call him for the past two years and thought about it. I thought, I should never ignore a birthday because what if it was his last, an unfortunate prediction on my part.

I began hearing disturbing reports from friends and family members that he was having mental issues. I recall he had a confrontation with his stepfather, however when I called him and asked him about it, he seemed quite lucid to me and his perspective made sense.  He said, people have determined he has a mental problem so whatever he says or does, he is not taken seriously and they have already determined he is mental. . He spent the time during our conversation reflecting quite a bit.   I tried to tell him, he has to look forward and stop focusing so much on a past he cannot change.  I felt like the past was in his head stuck on replay.

The last time I spoke to him, it was a very good conversation and it was mostly him reminiscing about high school.

About two years ago, I heard he got arrested for weed and I tried to reach out to him but could not find him.  I think he knew I would be giving one of my famous lecture speeches and probably was not up to hearing it.  He did tell my family and friends to tell me hello each and every time he saw them, except on Saturday before he died. My brother and another friend both described him as walking around totally out of it and walking around barefooted.  Not the image of the gang-banger I imagine.

Keino was not an angel, he paid the price and was repeatedly judged from one big mistake he made as a youth. He experienced a tragic event that unraveled his life.   He lost the male figure to direct his path.  He got lost.

Belize is a country of no second chances.  It almost seems that your fate is sealed if you make a mistake to be forever identified by such a mistake until you become the exact person everyone says you are.
So here I am standing up once again for my friend. I know he would never take another life just knowing the pain he went through when his father’s life was taken.  I know he would defend me if the tables were turned. He was a kind, empathetic soul who got lost in mental illness and poor choices of friends.

Unfortunately, to many he is merely a black face who looks like a gangbanger, so who cares he has a teenage daughter reading their hurtful comments. Who cares he has family and friends that love him; who cares that no one has presented any proof he was involved in gang activities, who cares that many of our lost young men work for the same people you would deem respectable?

We in Belize have become a society so gripped in fear of the monsters we help create that we are willing to sign away our liberties, we celebrate rumors of police involvement to eradicate these monsters, gang-bangers, in our short sighted approach to a solution, failing to realize we are creating bigger, more dangerous and more power monsters.

Rest in Peace my friend, God is your only judge and God sees and knows all.  Your heart is pure; your spirit left us long before your body did and now sleep with no more pain.

THE LIFE OF KEINO MALCOLM QUALLO
By his stepfather, Michael Rosberg
Friday, January 11, 2013


Keino Malcolm Quallo was the beloved son of Glenford Allen Quallo and his wife, Jewel Pearl Ruth Patten Quallo of Belize City. He was born on 7 October, 1972 and named by his father. Keino is the name of the famous barefoot Kenyan marathon Olympic champion, Kipchoge Keino. Glen represented Belize in the marathon race at the 19__ Commonwealth Games held in Winnipeg, Canada. In his new running shoes, he was soundly beaten by the barefoot Kipchoge Keino and so impressed by this relentless African athlete’s stamina that he publically vowed to him that he would name his firstborn son in his honour. And so he did.
Glen also gave ¬Keino his middle name, Malcolm, in honour of Malcolm X, the defiant, Black Power force who hastened the end of the segregation era in the United States with his incisive brilliance and willingness to tell truth to power—even though it cost him his life.
Thus, Keino Malcolm Quallo was deliberately given the name of Black, relentless and defiant heroes from either side of the Atlantic—one who represented physical prowess, and the other, the moral fibre of his people. So long as his health permitted, he bore his heritage with strength, intelligence, physical grace, empathy, and nobility.


Keino Malcolm was brilliant—perhaps a true genius. As a child of six, he would listen to the soap operas for his mother whenever she had to attend public meetings. She reports her astonishment to hear him recount the tangled soap opera story lines with clarity, and then to do analyses of the principle characters’ motivation. He not only knew what was happening; but also understood human motivation. In manhood, Keino had an astonishing ability to dissect Belizean politics objectively—to look fairly at the strengths and weaknesses of political parties and of politicized individuals. One of his most chilling predictions was that Belize would someday match the violence occurring in Jamaica in the 1970s and 80s until the city of Belize would eventually be drowned in blood. Who would have dreamt that by 2013, that bloody violence would drown him too?


Keino attended Anglican Primary, and Belmopan Comprehensive and a number of other schools. His performance was only outstanding when he had a teacher able to appreciate and provide space for his original turn of mind, his ability to challenge stupidity and illogic, and his need to speak too much truth. And he was a terror in the classroom of any teacher limited to hand-me-down ‘truths’ and narrow opinions. Both the Keino stamina, and the Malcolm defiance became hallmarks of his complex relationship with the world.


Keino’s bravery was evident on the basketball court where his illuminated understanding of the game, his beautiful athletic form, and his team spirit contributed greatly. And that same bravery was put to the service of the Department of Human Development when he served the population of some of Belize City’s most troubled neighbourhoods. He knew the streets, and he also knew the tough youth battling for dignity and respect who inhabited them. When the threat of war swelled up between the gangs of kids in these neighbourhoods, Keino Malcolm was one of those heroic souls who went to them and used his powerful ability, and his gift for tough love, to convince them until the violence was often avoided.


He pushed and cajoled the Department to offer youth the jobs and the skills training programmes he felt they deserved as Belize’s neglected children and as Belize’s future—one he predicted would be bloody without more attention, more love, and more investment by the adult population. He was never satisfied with the tepid responses he received, and frequently stung on behalf of the young people for whom he laboured. He clearly saw that the violence was relentlessly growing, and that the response was so inadequate that his efforts—and those of a few other street heroes like him—were being jeopardized for lack of back-up from the State.


Keino had only one child—Keiana Allana Quallo. Her mother is Verla Henry. Keiana was his dearest possession and he often said she gave him the courage to live. She was everything to him and is a gracious, bright and loving daughter in the last year of high school in Forest Hills, Queens New York.


Keino Malcolm had personal devils with which to contend in the form of a disease that became apparent in his late teens and that gradually worsened, eventually leaving him without the ability to work. In the worst of these recurring episodes, he would gravitate into tough neighbourhoods and keep the company of some of their toughest youth. Eventually, the growing personal trials and the mounting violence of Belize collided. His struggle to live like a dignified man ended suddenly, violently and bloodily.


Keino, as a child, once attended a concert. His mother reports that he gave his seat to another little boy who had none, and then spent the rest of the evening seatless and on the floor. That was typical of Keino Malcolm. He cared for those with less, he gave everything he had. His own world became increasingly tangled and ended prematurely and horribly. But notwithstanding the complexity of his short life—Keino Malcolm still lived up to the glorious name he was given by his father. He was brave and relentless—always meaning to see good come to others and doing everything he could to make it happen.


Keino Malcolm should be an inspiration to those of us from whom he was torn. What he wanted to see improve has not yet been sufficiently improved. We owe it to ourselves to love Belize and Belizean people as profoundly and honestly as he did. And we owe it to him to elevate our lives and efforts to make Belize the Pearl it should be. If we make this effort, we will never lose Keino Malcolm Quallo—because some of the best of his noble, complex self will be borne by each of us. Today, we scatter his beloved ashes on the sea—the open world he so loved. But those are just his physical remains. We who saw the beauty of his soul have the ability to keep his spirit alive and carry it with us.

You can visit Aria's blog here: http://twocanview.com/2013/01/11/who-was-keino-quallo-by-aria-lightfoot/

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Prime Minister Barrow Meets With Belize Gang Leaders Following Brutal Murders

Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow

The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, revealed in a press conference on Jan 9, 2013 that he has held talks with the leaders of The George Street Gang (GSG), a notorious criminal gang after four men were found dead in an apartment building on Tuesday morning. Local media said the men were tortured and their throats slashed.

When security forces arrived on the scene to pick up the bodies, people of the neighborhood began pelting them with stones and bottles. The forces had to fire shots into the air to keep the crowd at bay and senior police officers and journalists were forced to scamper for safety as multiple gunshots were fired near the apartment building.  The residents in the neighborhood alleged that the killings were a state-sponsored execution.

Later in the afternoon Mr. Barrow told reporters at a press conference that he led a delegation that included National Security Minister John Saldivar for talks with the leaders of the GSG and said that an arrangement had been reached for them to leave Belize City and not seek retaliation against people they believe committed the murders.

“I said they went under an arrangement with the government, they went completely of their own free will as a consequence of the discussion we had,” Barrow said, adding that the delegation made it clear during the talks “that it would be absolutely unthinkable for there to be any attempt at retaliation against innocent citizens.

“I will say that right from the start of those negotiations, they freely volunteered their commitment that absolutely nothing like that would happen. Now I say to residents of the City, I say to citizens of this nation that notwithstanding that particular development...the security forces are putting in place all that is necessary to make assurance doubly sure.

“But we do think that it was extremely helpful that we were able to secure that kind of commitment from the leaders. These people have premises outside the city. I don’t know that we can say it’s for rehabilitation purposes. It is perhaps better put as a departure that helps to assure us that they are going to be far removed from Belize City and to help to give us the additional comfort that they mean what they say when they undertake to abide by the laws of this country and to in particular not to engage in any random acts of violence at all against innocent citizens,” Prime Minister Barrow said.

Belize City, with a population of roughly 75,000, was virtually under siege for most of the day yesterday, Jan 8th; many businesses, banks and even school were sending messages over the airwaves that they will be closing down because of the fears of gang war and retaliations.

A press release issued by the Belize Ministry of National Security confirms reports of the multiple homicide that occurred in Belize City sometime Monday night.

“Police responded to a call around 8:00 this morning and visited an apartment complex at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets where they found the lifeless bodies of four men, namely, Albert Fuentes 19, Leonard Meyers 30, Anthony Perez, 28, and Keino Quallo, 40.

The bodies had multiple stab wounds, and there were no signs of forced entry. “Police have since removed the bodies from the scene and have launched an investigation led by three senior members of the Police Department.”

Prime Minister Barrow said that a special proclamation would be made “so that emergency measures can be put in place with respect to sealing off” Zone Four of the city.

“I say again that I am convinced that there will not be any organized effort from that zone on the part of the George Street people,” said Mr. Barrow.

Meanwhile, leader of the main opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Francis Fonseca, said he supports the efforts of the government to deal with the rising crime situation, but is also calling for a commission of inquiry into the quadruple murder of the four men. According to Fonseca, the inquiry would lay to rest once and for all suspicion that the Gang Suppression Unit was somehow involved.

Since the start of the year, at least ten people have been murdered in Belize City including 22-year-old Feeshia Felix, who was shot while she slept at her home over the weekend of  Jan 5, 2013.
 (L)Feeshia Felix

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Advisory From The US Embassy In Belize To All US Citizens:

January 8, 2013


This Security Message informs U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Belize of several gang-related homicides that occurred in Belize City on January 7, 2013. While there is no indication that U.S. citizens are targeted or otherwise under direct threat, there is a possibility that retaliatory violence could take place. As a precaution, the Embassy's Regional Security Officer has advised U.S. Government personnel to avoid travel to Belize City for the time being.