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Editorial – Friday, June 14th. 2019

Editorial – Friday, June 14th. 2019
June 14
13:08 2019

There is mounting evidence that many of our marginalized young people have become radicalized to the point where they no longer have scruples about killing other people.

We have seen policemen and businessmen and tourists come under attack. The recent attack on a respected high school principal and the memorable attack on a prominent lawyer bring the specter of violent death closer to middle-class families.

During times of economic hardship there is usually a spike in violent crime. Frayed nerves, tensions and frustrations, due to hard times and crowded living conditions, all contribute to the violence. But the biggest contributors perhaps are the drugs and the liquor which people turn to in times of stress.

Belize’s drug culture was formed over a period of many years. It will require time and training to restore normalcy. But we also need urgently to improve the economic situation of men and women so that they will have a reasonable chance of leading productive lives by contributing to the well-being of our society.

There is also a role for stricter law enforcement, a higher level of conviction, and more rational sentencing. People who commit multiple murders, or who show traits of savagery in killing others, should not be given the same treatment as the remorseful killers. It should be possible for a court of law to deliver sentences of up to 50 years for certain types of murders as a warning to others; and as a declaration in defense of irreplaceable human life.

We believe that the Barrow Government ought to establish a high level Crimes Commission to study the situation in Belize and to learn how other countries deal with escalating crime. The commission should be given a time-line to produce a set of guidelines for the National Assembly to consider.

We can do more and we should do more to make our country a safer place for the good of those who live here and for the safety of those who visit our land.

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