Negotiating with Terrorists

There was no war going on between the Gangs. No new one. None that has not been escalating since 2008. No new or different “old beef” between gangs in Belize that made Dean Barrow make an emergency u-turn. As with most things, Barrow’s return was all selfish and without balls. It was raw fear. As a politician, Barrow was returning to barter for his life. One of his creations was threatening to “x him out”. Gangsters do not use courts or ballot boxes to vote. Another echoing threat was that “Dean Barrow better tightened up…”

Dean Barrow was exposed by accident. Yes, by accident, because BELIZE TIMES sources have informed us that the street truth behind the harassment might be a corrupt police department trying to cut in and “work with” a large shipment of drugs suspected of being connected to the George Street Bloods (GSB) at that time. Barrow got “called out”, like a mob boss turned in by a scorned lover. George Street is his pet cobra.

Think about it. The criminal gangs in the city formed a union and incredibly issued a press release. Are we concerned yet?

List the active criminal gangs in the city: George Street, Rocky Road, Kraal Road, Supal Street, Gill Street, Sunset, Ghost Town, Backa Town and South Side. All those gangs are stuffed inside Queen Square proper or overlapping with it. Further, the leader or boss of all the criminal gangs in the city is the GSB. This gang has been comfortably bred from the heart of Dean Barrow’s constituency. A constituency he has manipulated and cultivated for an uninterrupted twenty seven years. All he has to show for it is a murderous gang that he cannot control.

Belize heard the interview of Carlos Abraham aka “Sinbad”, as the pain of Barrow’s betrayal was heavy on his tongue. “After we vote in Dean Barrow – this is what he did to us – he chance us.” In fact, it appeared to them that they had been replaced, “…. It looks like he built his death squad that is what I think. GSU is a stupid unit. That is Dean Barrow death squad.”

What the public needs to know is that Dean Barrow’s sister does all the real “political” work for him in the garrison of Queen Square. In the Southside ghettos of the old capital “Sister B” is called “Mother Blood”.

Poor people may be uneducated but they “ain’t” fool. The streets know the real stories, believe that. You heard the “SSG” member: “we have to deal with this thing from the root, because if you just represent one side, like I said, Dean Barrow… they support all of George Street…”

What the thug said after that was an eye opener. Think about it, what could a Prime Minister bring to the negotiating table. Jail, threats, police brutality, preventative detention? What? Word gets out fast; South Side Gang (SSG) realized the real situation. In the same way the police pick up and drop off gang members in the neighborhoods of rival gangs, the government was trying to take the bull’s eye off Barrow and refocus it on other criminal groups. They smelt it: “GOB is using the SSG’s as their scapegoat to mend their relationship with the George Street Gang.”

Look at that madness, now another press release from another criminal association. This one apparently is non-aligned. They are making more demands. Belizeans should never depend on deviants and criminals to dictate when, where and for how long we should feel safe. That is the mercy that the press release granted us. Why is Barrow negotiating with these men that have been terrorizing the nation? He has called them terrorists and accused them of trying to hold the country hostage.

The United States of America has an unwavering hard line policy: no negotiations with terrorists. The learning for this is rooted in the fact that, one of the first things negotiation does is to glamorize and publicize the cause of the terrorist. Barrow is making these thugs celebrities.

The sociological fact is that by negotiating with these criminal gangs, it will seem to people, particularly the at-risk ghetto youths, that the gangs are an acceptable part of society, which in turn will make it much easier for them to recruit new members. Their criminal association becomes a sure source of legitimate protection, housing and even part time employment to subsidize and launder their illicit activities. This increase in number of members will make the gangster groups larger in size and much harder to control. Their large numbers can enable them to cause more trouble and all of the innocent people of Belize will become less safe.

Obviously, part of negotiating with terrorists is giving them something that they want in return for something that you want. This could encourage terrorists to escalate the frequency and potency of their criminal activity as a bargaining chip. It is becomes a pattern of power to get results. This will bring on more and more gang threats with every negotiation that takes place. This is not a realistic way to keep people safe, Barrow knows it.

In fact, Barrow’s pleadings with the Union of gangsters may buy him a few days, but in the long run, it encourages these terrorists to carry on with their violent behavior. The UDP play with this demon every opportunity they get. This is, by our count, the third UDP truce. The only thing shorter than the length of these fantacia truces is UDP terms in office.

Same old song and dance, we saw the resurrection or instigation of the CYDP program. They chanted up the gang spirits. Ask yourself why we did not need a “Gang Suppression Unit” under the PUP years in Government? Why was there no need for a CYDP? Why was there no need for Government-Gang truces? Why was the murder rate so low?

The PUP believed and invested in the youths of Belize. We did not condemn them to gang membership. We gave them hope as “Youth for the Future” and not subsidized vacations on tax payer dollars for gang bangers.

The placebo to the public is a dangerous one. Barrow knows that the public wants to feel good and will grasp as any possibility especially during celebration time. Barrow does not intend to bring any real solution.

Look at the team. An anthropologist from a country with an even worse crime rate than ours and he is yet to have one single successful program with identifiable results in Belize. Dr. Gayle is a paid mouth piece with an open dated plane ticket after his consultation fees run out.

Then there is the attorney for the UDP and chairman of the disgracefully comatose Crime Control Council (CCC), Michael Young. What a joke, how can that sheltered little “coconut” relate or connect with ghetto kids? He is partly responsible for the violence by his terrible performance on the CCC. Then there is Boots, he proudly employs the gangs and uses them as goons or mascots when necessary. Dean Barrow was the attorney for the George Street bosses. Stop the shenanigans! Nothing good will come of this, it will only get worst.

Belize Times