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Chamber of Commerce Statement on Crime Situation in Belize

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.

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