Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Say it Ain't So, Joe!"

For the past month, speculation about the possible arrest of top former political officials had spread faster than the deluge of red that engulfed the country on that late February evening. But like many other skeptics, I had my reservations about the validity of such a promising possibility. And then on Friday, there was Mr. (no-longer-honorable) Joe Coye, on the news, exiting the police station after turning himself into police custody for "stealing" (or refusing to give back) $275,000. For me, this significant amount is insignificant. Equally insignificant is the person who brought the charges against Mr. Coye; something tells me, just a hunch, that he knew this was not the most transparent and honest transaction one could make to obtain land. And I justify this by pointing out that every other middle-class or lower echelon Belizean would never have the privilege of being offered undervalued property by the suddenly 'benevolent' Coye. Instead, what I find most promising amidst this case of abusive political power, was the mere fact that it was brought to fruition. I applaud the authorities in this matter, even though it may well be that it was concocted with malicious intent. Too often, the police has been accused of not being hard-pressed against white-collar, corporate crimes. Admittedly, this is a truism that reigns everywhere, not just in Belize. Therefore, when Mr. Coye walked out of magistrate court on Friday, it signaled that there may still be hope for social equality in Belize. Moreover, ASSUMING that this arrest was politically spurred by ravenous UDP officials seeking retribution, it shows that their promise of reform was not empty. But, before I give a medal to the UDP government for eradicating the nests of corruption past, we have to take this event in context - this event was no more than a political gimmick for the UDP to publicly flex their power entrusted to them by the people who voted for them. Therefore, the only way to prove that they are in fact sincere about reform is NOT by prosecuting former officials, but by leading by example. They must demonstrate that they themselves will not abuse the power given to them, as so often done by the previous administration. I admit that too little time has gone by for them to prove their sincerity, but as we have learned, the tide can turn oh so suddenly - as sudden as that sea of red.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent commentary! You nailed the main point of all this, which is that arresting your enemy doesn't prove you're a saint. The only way for this government to prove that they're serious is to BE serious.

However, they are treading close to the line in several places and have put their toes across it in others. We need to 'brakes' them, people! Five years is too long to wait to punish transgressions. Keep reminding them now so that we don't have to punish them later...the punishment costs us too much.