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Vidal: Recent surged in Crime is due to the Drug War

“The crime situation in Belize City has surged over the past four months and the spike became more noticeable under the Command of Senior Superintendent Marco Vidal who took over the Southside formation back in July. In our coverage of the various recent murders, Belize City residents who have been directly and indirectly affected by the gun violence have criticized the department for the change in the Southside Command, some even calling for the re-installment of former Commander ACP Chester Williams. In the last four months alone, there have been well over twenty, bringing the total for the year to more than one hundred and twenty murders, unofficially. At the police press briefing on Monday, the media asked Commander Vidal whether he felt any blame for the spike in crime since most have happened under his command. The Commander, once again, placed the blame squarely on the drug trade.”

Sr. Supt. Marco Vidal

“Absolutely I take no culpability for this, for the simple reason that has been explained for some time now that these incidents have arisen as a result of an internal eruption of the gangs who have for whatever reason decided that they should sell drugs and expand the sale of drugs and whilst we have the expansion of the sale of drugs, obviously people armed themselves and in people arming themselves they will protect turf or they will try to gain other turfs. So in doing these things, we see that eventually what would have been a certain level of friendship turned out into an enemy rivalry, because of the same sale of drugs.  “It has been repeatedly said that these incidents are the result of the expansion of the sale of drugs, the quality of drugs that is on the streets. As you would know better than I do that the quality is what is called “Kush” and this is not grown locally, it is something imported. It is costly, so the loss of those products, someone would have to pay for those products and when they can’t pay, then there will be deaths for these things. It happened whilst I am in command, yes it has happened, but in terms of taking any personal responsibility – I cannot take any personal responsibility because I am not responsible for any of those things. We will continue to police our area and we will strategize and continue to strategize to target these very people who are committing these crimes.”

Reporter

“Do you see your job on the ground as being made a little more difficult because you are decriminalizing marijuana soon? People will want marijuana and then you are cutting off the supply. Do you see that making your job a little harder?”

Vidal

“Well it becomes more complicated and more challenging, but I think we have to look at everything and then re-strategize based on those situations.”