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Southside SOE Expires in 2 weeks

At the end of the month, the State of Emergency imposed on a specific area of Southside Belize City will expire. The SOE came into effect on July 29 after an inter-gang rivalry in the Saint Martins Area broke out. Since then not much gun violence has occurred in the area and so today, we asked Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa, if the SOE’s aim has been achieved. 

Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs: “The question is, Hipolito, how do you measure success? Again, I always have to point out that the state of emergency is not our first recourse as an administration and certainly not for the police department either but in terms of saving lives, knock on wood, we haven’t had any retaliation since the S.O.E. was called. But again, I don’t want to say that the S.O.E. is a solution. I don’t want to ever be misconstrued as saying that. It is just that the intelligence and information that the department was receiving at the material time suggested that there was going to be a series of retaliations and we had a duty and an obligation to stop that from taking place. We still have interventions going on. Mr. Dawson from the LIU who continues to do his work, he and his team. I want to thank him for his work but at the end of the day, like I said, it depends how you measure the success of an S.O.E. At the end of the day, it has served its purpose in my opinion in quelling the violence, at least temporarily. It’s a band-aid fix. It’s not a full time fix but hopefully cooler heads can prevail and when the young men are released at the end of the month, hopefully there’s no retaliation.”