“Boss it’s all about the Gs that we love but they don’t love us back…You know what Gs mean right? It’s about money but it’s more than that. Money is not we ballie; you know that. Sometimes I go out to hustle and [get] nothing. I have GOALSlike everybody else and I try hard in school to get the tools to achieve them legally. I did very well and got my CXCs and all that, but that did not guarantee me anything....
“Your GOALS– screwed; GUNSand GANGS– kill you while you killing your GENDER– that means you on your own, cause ‘pum— pum’ rule; GODand the GOVERNMENT– I don’t even understand those. Everybody use GOD name fi screw you. But wherever ih be me still call on him. Maybe one day ih will answer. The GOVERNMENTis mostly there when it is time to punish me!”
So reads an excerpt appearing in the dedication section of the full 400-page report on Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize, previewed by a team of researchers in July 2010 and released in its entirety today, Monday, November 22, 2010.
That commentary from a gang leader inspired the shaping of the title of the report, said its authors. Subtitled An Examination of Their Experience with Goals, Guns, Gangs, Gender, God, and Governance, the report is authored by Herbert Gayle, PhD, Anthropologist of Social Violence, The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica, and Nelma Mortis, MEd., Ministry of Education, Belize City, Belize, with Jamuna Vasquez, Raymond James Mossiah, MSc., Melvin Hewlett, BSc., Alindy Amaya, MA (October 2010).
“The research, which focuses on the social difficulties and the institutional influence that service providers have on the social conditions of young males, probes into the experiences that males have in urban communities in Belize as a means to explain and contextualize the rising violence in the urban sphere,” said the press release on the publication.
During the course of the study, the team interviewed over 2000 people, focusing primarily on young males ages 6 to 34 years old, and it used their female counterparts for comparison.
“As one of the most pivotal research studies in recent Belizean history concerning demographic and anthropological impacts on the national state of affairs, the study is intended to serve as a compass to guide social agencies in moving Belize towards social and economic maturity, based on sound social research,” it added.
According to the research team, the results are to be fed into the RESTORE Belize – RESTORE being an acronym for Re-Establish Security Through Outreach Rehabilitation and Education, launched in June 2010 by the Office of the Prime Minister. Mortis, one of the co-authors, has since been employed with the program.
The report states that, “...gang war in Belize City is not well organized and can be fractured to effect reduction in murders within short to medium time frames. The study suggests that in order to reduce violence, Belize must immediately embark on a programme of social intervention driven by cold sterile facts.” Amandala