Crime And Crime In Belize

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Belize is a small country located both in Central America and the Caribbean, formerly known as British Honduras; it is the only English-speaking country in Central America. Mexico is at its north and Guatemala at its east and south. Crime has been a rising issue for the past years and Belize has become rated as a high- crime rate country. This is so due to the high murder rate per capita. In recent studies, Belize is officially the sixth most dangerous country in the world with an average of just over 39 homicides per 100,000 residents. Some years ago it ranked the second highest murder rate in the Caribbean, the third in Central America, and the fifth in the Americas. For such a small country it has a very high crime rate, which can be contributed…show more content…
In 2012 there were 145 murders for a population of 340,786, that is, 42.5 per 100,000 inhabitants—Belize’s highest rate to date (JICC, 2013). For such a small country, Belize has at least ten active Southside gangs and four dormant North side ones. A gang is a group of people who claim territory and make money off illegal activities. Gangs are one of the leading factors for growth of violent crimes and in Belize it is estimated that about 95% are gang-related. They cause growth in crimes because their illegal activities such as the sale of drugs, and fighting over drug turf leads to violent murders, an initiation that needs to pass. This initiation is usually a violent crime that could include theft, murder, gang-rape, or drive-by shootings, the killing of innocent children and bystanders caught in a cross-fire or drive-by shootings; the lobbing of grenades at public gatherings; the wanton shooting of innocent civilians by minors simply to get street “credit”; the robbing and murdering of small businessmen (largely Chinese merchants) and the rise of home invasions. Gang crimes will continue to occur because the members support and encourage such behavior. As mentioned before Belize has a low conviction rate, so majority people get away with these violent acts because the law is not enforced. So they will continue to break the law because they know they can get away with it. Also people feel that crime occurs in this country because the punishments (for those who do get punished) are not fit for the crime committed. In past (2011) the government of Belize tried to rectify the situation by a gang truce, which reduced intentional homicides for some time. There was also the formation of the gang suppression unit, which only had highly-publicized raids in known gang areas. Law enforcement need to control the gang situation

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