Tonight we're happy to report that - in the city - the weekend passed without any major incident of violence, or worse, domestic terror - the gangs it seemed held to a ceasefire.

The idea of a truce was broached on Friday when Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the gangs held talks at the ITVET building in Belize City.

They followed up on Sunday afternoon at the same place. The meeting last for about three hours - and at the end, none of the gang leaders wanted to talk, but the PM discussed the terms of the truce that had been forged:...

Jules Vasquez Reporting
Pinky Tillett, Bobo and other George Street members walked out of Sunday meeting after five seeming at ease. The same for other members of George Street who greeted members of other groups with casual collegiality. Even Darren Banks seemed at ease and he was going back to prison.

On the government side, Chairman of the Crimes Control Council Michael Young, Dr. Herbert Gayle, BDF Commander Dario Tapia and Police CEO Col. George Lovell, the police minister and the works minister were some of the group there to back up the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"There was an agreement reached that the fellows would in fact implement a truce - a cease fire. So far, so good. We have been here before as was pointed out on Friday. I do repeat that not with quite the critical mass that we saw today and Friday. I therefore believe that there is a firm basis for hope - for optimism but I am also quite aware of the fact that the testing period is still to come that what was the consensus that was reached has to be fragile and we won't know if it would hold until we know."

Jules Vasquez
"On what basis is the truce agreed upon? Is it agreed upon the expectation that certain "beefs" have been worked out between fueling crews or is it an expectation that the state will do what it will if the violence continues?"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"I think a combination of both. People express a willingness to try to come together and put an end to the senseless violence. As a matter of self-preservation - as a matter of wanting to survive but in the course of the interventions a number of leaders did make they point to their fellows that well we need to stop this for our own sakes but we also need to stop this because the state will clearly have to ratchet-up the ante if we don't stop."

Jules Vasquez
"Did they specify any particular "beefs" that one crew may have had with another and were those squash?"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"No, people said quite sensibly that 'so much of their boys are dead' or 'so many of my colleagues were murdered by people across the table but to get hung-up on that will not bring anybody back and it will just continue the cycle and we need to put an end to the cycle so that was their basis on which the agreement to move forward was reached."

So now, both sides move forward but it is more than just a cordial meet and greet:

Jules Vasquez
"Has the government had to give any assurances of jobs or anything like that?"

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"Oh, we've made it plain that once this thing holds of course we will be committed to the creation additional employment opportunities and social opportunities. We certainly will want to do a little infrastructure in each of the particular neighborhoods whether it's by way of some street repairs or maybe building some little community center - assisting with the repairs of homes, but we are trying to ensure that there is a structure in place. There is a sort of coordinating committee that's been formed that will comprise people from RESTORE Belize, from the Office of the Prime Minister; the Minister of Works will actually serve. Pastor Cassanova will act as a kind of coordinator - but that will have representative from each of the neighborhoods - each of the crews. The idea is for that coordinating committee to come up with the projects that will be implemented but also to act as a monitor of the whole truce process."

But his optimism is tempered

Jules Vasquez
"Gangs - a lot of their business, a lot of their existence is not a social club that exists for economic reasons. A lot of it is about turfs, selling Marijuana, who control certain areas things like that."

Prime Minister Dean Barrow
"Nobody Jules is some cock-eyed optimist. I said to you there is a basis for cautious optimism, there is not a basis for letting hope run wild - that would be naive - if not downright stupid. We recognize that with the best will in the world because of some of the factors you've identified because there will be those who will wonder off the reservation because it is hard for any leader to control every last foot soldier or sort of occasional affiliate out there - Murphy's Law will no doubt intervene. We have though in place this committee as well as their agreement that the leaders will talk to one another direct, will communicate with one another direct. We have in place this committee that will act as some body - some structure that will seek to exert a calming influence, will seek to ensure that any breakdown that happens in an individual instance will not lead to a generalize breakdown so that the whole thing comes crashing down. But I am saying that life is real. I recognize that there still a long way to go. I am just happy that we've made a start, we've made what appears to be a very promising start."

A press release from Government today says, quote: "Government is confident that the rest of the September celebrations can…proceed in an untroubled, festive manner."

And it adds that, quote: "For the longer term, Government is hopeful that Sunday's historic truce will last and will bring to a halt the cycle of senseless violence…"

Channel 7