REPORT #197 Mar 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

There was a two hour documentary on Rwanda and the Genocide by a historian on television. Rwanda was an ex-French colony it seems. The interesting part of the whole genocide in Rwanda, a beautiful and once civilized country of hills, farms and mountains, quite cool and moderate climate; was the key point when it could have been all stopped by the UN, but they did not have the "WILL". It being a black African country with no strategic importance and all.

The country had been run for 18 years by a General turned President. It was a mixed Tutu and Tutsi population, throughout the civil service and government. Everybody got along together. But the 'President" for life type, apparently wanted to get rid of the opposing ethnic group. They were hampering the corrupt things he wanted to do. Now as a government, he and his psuedo political movement masquerading as a party, which was based on ethnic lines formed a small clique in running the country under the guise of being a political party. They started a hate campaign on government controlled radio and media. It was a typical vile lying campaign for a year, stirring up hatred and stuff. In the meantime, the Presidential Guard were the only ones like our Belize Defense Force, that had any real guns and grenades. The police were also an armed force under the control of the centralized party controlled government.

By changing the ruling Hutu political party connotations to ethnic lines and making it a 'movement' instead of a political party and thus mandatory membership by any person who was ethnically a Hutu, this clique then formed an underground secret militia. They stockpiled weapons around the country and had a secret organization, supposedly party orientated Hutu, part of this greater Hutu mandatory membership.

The UN came in as peacekeepers, but the President fella and friends, figured the token peacekeeping force and those back in UN headquarters had no guts, or stomach. So they planned to kill some UN soldiers and did kill 10 Belgian soldiers. Sure enough the Belgian military contingent pulled out, sporadic killing went on and the UN pulled the rest of the military groups out, as they did not want to spend the money on a force in Rwanda. A very beautiful country. This opened the genocide actions that followed. The president got killed in a plane crash. The political party movement clique running the Hutu thingy went wild on the media, exhorting all and sundry Hutu to kill the vermin Tutsi.

The pre-meditated plan carried out, was first to kill all the fellow HUTU who were moderates and opposed to the radical clique running the country. This the Presidential Guard and Police force did. There was then no opposition left within the Hutu. Then they killed all the Tutsi members in these organizations. Then there was a general uprising order given to scattered underground Hutu militia groups with the secret arms caches coming from the Presidential Guard and national police. The genocide was then on. Killing spread like wildfire. The shock troops were those with arms and grenades. Led by the Presidential Guard and the National Police Force. The militia had machetes and clubs and some weapons, mostly grenades. Road blocks everywhere. Bodies everywhere. The slaughter went on. The filming was horrible on video tape. You actually saw them doing it. Civilians had no guns to resist.

The point of this is; you should never allow a government to be the only ones with guns. An armed civilian population keeps a government in check. You think the Belize Defence Force could have rounded up banana workers at Mango Creek, like they did, if everybody was entitled by law to have a gun? Just because they wanted to form a UNION? Then deported. No way Jose! The government would have had to go to court and do things BY LAW and the court. The proper way! That banana situation using the BDF was a terrible precedent in Belize and going to be repeated time and again. I only hope it does not become a Rwanda style situation, with only the government holding arms, when you get some nut and his friends taking over a political party in office under the current crooked electoral system.

In Belize, only three groups are armed. The Belize Defense Force, the National Colonial Police and the crooks/bandit/criminals. Innocent citizens are VERY vulnerable, the same as was the case in Rwanda.

The price of an armed citizenry, is the occasional hothead argument in which people shoot each other. But many people already get shot in Belize and have no way of stopping it. It is arguable that no more would be shot if citizens were armed, than if they are not. But the upside of this argument for the right to bear and hold arms, is the control you have over your government, not to oppress you and force the government of the day to go to court and not to use force, simply because they can and it is cheaper.

Guns in the hands of citizens, change a government to one of LAWS and courts, not the brute force, presently used by the Belize Defence Force and the National Colonial Police Force system. You need elected local police chiefs running the police, not a political party controlled police force.

The rules in Belize are colonial exploitive and have no place in a real democracy. The system is a bad joke and ripe for further more dreadful misuse by somebody!

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