Crime in Belize

Topics: Crime, Gang, Belize District Pages: 5 (1663 words) Published: May 5, 2013
Crime in Belize:

We start off by defining crime. What is crime? A crime occurs when someone breaks the law by an overt act, omission or neglect that can result in punishment. A person who has violated a law, or has breached a rule, is said to have committed a criminal offense. There are two main categories of crime: property crime and violent crime: Property Crimes: A property crime is committed when someone damages, destroys or steals someone else's property, such as stealing a car or vandalizing a building. And Violent Crimes: A violent crime occurs when someone harms, attempts to harm, threatens to harm or even conspires to harm someone else. Violent crimes are offenses which involve force or threat of force, such as rape, robbery or homicide.

Crime in Belize is rising year after year and now we’re in 2013 where each district is being affected with some horrific crimes. Punta Gorda was once the district with less crime but now it has joined the rest of districts.  Organized crime beyond street gangs is primarily connected to drug trafficking or trafficking in persons. Incidents of crime remain high, including violent crimes such as armed robbery, home invasions, shootings, stabbings, murders, and rapes. With the crime increase, it ruins any chances of increasing the number of tourists we would have. There is no evidence suggesting criminals specifically target U.S. citizens, but nonetheless, foreigners have been targeted for crime due to their perceived wealth. Incidents of crime increase during the winter holidays and during spring break. Several victims who resisted when confronted by criminals received serious injuries, including gunshot wounds and broken limbs. Although the majority of reported incidents occur in Belize City, particularly southern Belize City, crime may occur anywhere including tourist destinations such as San Pedro Town (Ambergris Caye), Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, Dangriga, Corozal, and Placencia.

Belize recorded 145 homicides in 2012, a record number. With a population of only 312,698 according to the 2010 country census, Belize’s per capita homicide rate of 46 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012 ranks among the highest in the world. While the country’s per capita homicide rate is still lower than that of other Central American countries, such as Honduras and El Salvador its year-on-year increase is of concern.

The majority of homicides in 2012 occurred in the Belize district, with most in the southern portion of Belize City, an area that has become increasingly violent due to ongoing gang warfare between local groups for control of lucrative narcotics smuggling routes and sales rights. These gangs lead to other crimes such mobs between the GSU and the citizens of Belize City. After watching a video about the gang violence in Belize City, it helped me realize that our country is corrupted with violence and some cold hearted people who ‘could kill today and forget about it tomorrow’. It’s very sad that we lost four citizens of our country but yet satisfied because they might have been some of the main criminals of 2012. During the video it was clear to see that the people of George Street were very unhappy with the brutal murders and they were willing to take action against the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) not knowing if they were the people responsible for the slaying or were just being falsely accused. I can see why they blamed the GSU because back in 2012 there was a similar incident that took place which caused a huge riot where the crowd of demonstrators got physical by throwing broken bottles causing the police to safe guard themselves by shooting live ammunition.

If the GSU was responsible, then why did the gang leader(s) agree to meet with the Prime Minister and arrange for witness protection and safe passage out of Belize City? They surely must know they are...
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