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October 14, 2008

The Association of Concerned Belizeans will be hosting a forum under the banner, “Taking Back Our Streets.” David Vasquez is the President of the Association of Concerned Belizeans and he told us more about the purpose of the forum.
David Vasquez; President Association of Concerned Belizeans

“The idea of this forum is first to stay public discourse to continue the pubic participation in this process that has become a serious problem in Belize, the crime problem. Yes we are aware of all that is happening administratively on the part of government with the crime commission, the movements by the Minister of National Security in terms of action taken by the police and everything else. However, this problem goes beyond that and it needs to be addressed from a social issue where by the public becomes involved and we need to continue on the communication and the dialogue and participation on behalf of the public. And I think as has been the case in the past, ACB has been able to do this effectively through our forums. Part of the big mission of the ACB is to educate the public on issues and also to again and I keep reiterating and repeating it but it is really to stare public discourse and participation.”

The forum also serves to address the root cause of the crime and violence problem in the country. ACB have engaged a panel of people who have worked in the system and can speak to the causes and provide solutions.

David Vasquez; President Association of Concerned Belizeans

“The speakers will be Miss Pearle Stuart from the National Committee for Families and Children and she will be opening up the forum. We will also have a representative of the Department of Public Prosecution, and the idea there is to have a discussion on the cause of the crime problem in Belize, Mose Hyde who is the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Conscious Youth Development Program and he will be sharing on the cause of the crime as well. On the solutions side we will have Minister of National Security Carlos Perdomo and Michael Young, Chairman of the Crime Control Council who will be the closing speaker at the forum.”

We asked Vasquez what will happen to the information that will be gathered from the forum tomorrow.

David Vasquez; President Association of Concerned Belizeans

“It is not our intention to have this be another talk shop. ACB besides doing the public awareness it is also our intention to take what information is gathered from this and hopefully it is information that will be coming from the public side and be able to add on or offer some suggestions to the government that will be in support of the crime commission report and all of the other projects that are being put in place to help solve this crime problem that we have. We will be continuing our educational forums by offering more forums on not only issues such as crime but social issues as well.”

The forum will be held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, Caracol Room beginning at 7pm. The public is invited to come share their views and listen to the recommendations put forward.