Belize government concerned at hike in murders

By Rumi Samuel Published on October 01, 2022
Belize government concerned at hike in murders

The Belize government is expressing concern at the hike in murders in recent days praising law enforcement officials for helping to keep a lid on violent crimes.

At least five people were killed in the last ten days, and Home Affairs Minister Kareem Musa told reporters that Belize is not singular in recording increased murders over the past few weeks.

“It is very scary the world we live in today, and it is certainly not just limited to Belize. You look across the region; Jamaica is facing extreme violent crimes happening in their society, Salvador, and other parts of Central America. So, there is this sort of uptick worldwide of crime, even in the great United States.

“So, it is very concerning when it comes to young people, the young man that lost his life the other day. I want to extend my condolences to him as well as the other individuals who lost their lives over the past ten days,” Musa said.

He told reporters that for August and September, “we had a very relatively low violent crime situation in Belize (and) we are thankful for that.

“We are thankful for the police department and the hard work they put in over the September Celebrations,” Musa said, adding, “however, we are of course concerned with these latest murders; these are out district, the last five in the previous ten days. And those are a little easier to solve.

“I think out of the five murders; we have four suspects that we are looking at. One has already been charged…we do have other suspects detained. From a police standpoint, that is what is important to us to be able to solve these crimes.”

Earlier this week, Opposition Leader Shyne Barrow in a statement posted on social media, called for Musa’s resignation due to increased murders.

“If he can’t do the job of keeping our country safe, he should resign and focus on his marijuana enterprise,” Barrow wrote.

But Musa dismissed Barrow’s call, saying crime is “everybody’s business.

“It is almost every week they call on that, and it is something I wish they would understand that crime is not a police issue. Crime is everybody’s issue. It starts with our very young children and our families and upbringing. It starts with what we are doing now as a government to get free education on the south side of Belize City and hopefully expand that.

Musa recalled that under the opposition in 2012, the country recorded 148 murders that year.

Official figures released by the Belize Crime Observatory in June showed that there were 384 major crimes, including murder, burglary, robbery, and rape, compared to 362 for the corresponding period last year.

Rumi Samuel

Rumi Samuel

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