Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Counting the Murders for 2008

I hope that you'll forgive my short term silence. {Been busy}

"There has been another murder in the Old Capital"...

Ladies and Gentlemen, if only I had a dollar for every time I heard this statement on the nightly newscast!

It's difficult for me to write this blog... I know that crime is bad and that it affects the lifestyle of all denizens of Belize, but it has never personally affected me. **Knock on wood** I don't want to have an elitist "them people vs. me and my people" air as I continue. It is so easy to judge and separate myself. Maybe even this mindset is a part of the problem.

At my own conservative, generalized estimates, I would say that 50% of the murders that occur in Belize are drug related, 25% due to domestic violence, and the other 25% split mainly between robbery and "beef" -- revenge killings for the above mentioned 3 topics. More than ever, the value of life is being lowered. It's a sad, scary reality. What is the worth of a Belizean life?

It hurts me to mention that the majority of these murders are occurring in the South side of Belize City. What series of actions, over the years, has turned this area, perhaps the earliest populated settlement in Belize, after the Mayas, into the most dangerous and crime-afflicted location in the entire country? Another obvious observation about the rash of murders is that the killers and people being murdered are young, black, and uneducated.

There is not one factor affecting the high rate of crime. But I propose that one of the most significant reason is a lack of Belizean culture. Now, I can't expound as much I would want about this subject, because I'm trying to keep the length of this entry reasonable. But, Belizeans are the greatest chameleons on Earth. We have chosen, by and large, to abandon the wonderful, beautiful Belizean culture that our "naivety" and "isolation" affords us, to embrace and emulate a capitalist American culture. Just as the past administration tried to follow an "international level capitalist economic plan" that failed horribly, we're trying to follow an American "societal plan". Like them, we're failing. These murders are an effect of this intangible cause. We have to start living like Belizeans again.

Sure, we were poor. We didn't have bling or cars. But every child was fed, clean, had a fear of God & authority, and went to school. That's a great starting place... and I'm sure that all children in Belize aren't afforded these basic things today.

By taking things back to the basics, our progression as a people would be astounding.

God Bless all those affected by Arthur.... more to come on this subject with time. As always, I ask you to think, then comment for further discussion.


Democrates said...

I like this blog. For something that is covered nightly on the news, 'crime' is such an ambiguous issue in Belize; one would think that with such a relatively small population the roots of its causes would be clear(er). And this reflects the most frustrating part: that so far we have been unable to figure out an effective solution.

But credit must be given to our authorities. They certainly haven't had the best track record, but recently, it seems as though they are really trying to mitigate this problem. (See 7news, June 9, 2008, "Ghetto Youths on 5 day Jungle Trek")

The Voice said...

I have some radical solutions...

They're trying, but effective change will take years. This problem didn't escalate to this scale overnight.

What we need most of all is full societal participation.