Crime in Belize has been a regular item in newscasts across the country. The gunmen are seemingly not afraid of the Belize Police Department as they have been carrying out daylight shootings and murders in the vicinity of police precincts. Police Commissioner Chester Williams spoke at length on several security issues in the country. During his appearance on The Morning Show today he explained that there is a street war happening; here is an excerpt from his explanation.
Cheater Williams, Commissioner of Police, Belize Police Department: “It has a lot to do with the drug trade, yes, and the other issue is that we have a number of persons who just can’t forgive and forget. There’s always that intent to retaliate. You did something to me one year, two years, three years ago and I hold it against you and I still come back after you. So there are a number of persons with this hatred in their hearts.”
Rene Villanueva Sr., Host, The Morning Show: Can’t let go of the old.
Cheater Williams, Commissioner of Police, Belize Police Department: “Yes and in some instances there’s just red doesn’t like blue and that’s the sad part about it and that’s the reason why we try to use the Leadership Intervention Unit under the guidance of Mr. Dawson, William Dawson, to see how we can work with these young men giving them therapy and currently we’re training, I think it’s about 60, Violence Interrupters and these are persons from within the same gang communities that are going to work with us with a view to see how we can provide counselling and different things for these young men to try and heal, because if they don’t heal then certainly the violence is going to continue. There’s a lot that we have planned because the police cannot do it alone and that’s the reason why we engaged the other stakeholders and I’m happy to see that they have come on board. Mr. Kevin Cadle from DYS is very very active and we have Mr. Dawson who used to be at the prison. He is the one who is the Chair of the LIU and he has a number of other persons working with him. We have Dr. McKay. We have “Footy”* Gongora. There are a number of persons working with us with a view to see how we can achieve what we want to achieve. Dr. McKay comes with a wealth of experience in terms of her being able to provide training and then we have counsellors as well who are going to provide counselling. So like I said, we are providing the platform to help those who want to reform. Now it is not to say that there are not going to be those who don’t want to reform and when we encounter those who don’t want to reform then we have to take the long arm of the law and deal with them.”