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#394003 - 12/02/10 02:27 PM The Gayle Report complete:  
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Marty Offline
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“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.”


#394012 - 12/02/10 04:13 PM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Marty Offline
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// for a copy of the Gayle Report. 6.7mb pdf download

#394034 - 12/02/10 07:22 PM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Marty Offline
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from a friend....

Well I just finished reading this report. I am not going to atempt to summarise it, there is just too much there.

But a few observations occur to me.

When I started reading it I was somewhat cynical. Belize is full of reports mostly full of "NGO ese" which is a language spoken only by NGOs and certain government departments. Usually these reports don't get widely read or reported as they should be, and end up on a dusty shelf somewhere.

I soon discovered however that this report is different. It is written in good English and is pretty clear, given the complexity of the subject.

In fact I warmed to Dr Gayle as the pages turned. I commend people to brave the 400 odd pages (you can skip chapter 1 and also the last 40 or so pages which are bibliography)

So to a couple of points.

Violence in children comes from the home environment. Not earthshaking, true. But the link with disfunctional families, violence within the family,is clearly shown.

The significant and perhaps lead role that hunger plays in children going astray is also shown very clearly.

Bear in mind that there is a ton of evidence given from the mouths of the children themselves to demonstrate these points.

The almost secondary issue of education is raised. It is clear that education is fighting a rearguard action in trying to help todays urban children. I did not get the impression that education was part of the problem, but part (hopefully) of the solution.

The report centres on urban children and how they are drawn into gangs through neglect, hunger,peer pressure etc. However the report does look at the big problem, the one I personally regard as the #1 issue. The violence on our streets, which is gang related. The point being that the children are peripheral to that.

There are hard hitting comments about the police and judiciary too.

Then we come to the recommendations. I was very impressed. There were solid recommendations for the educators, the social services, the police, the judiciary and most importantly, for our Government.

But will they listen? The final report has been out only a few days, so will it join all the other reports on that dusty shelf? . Dr Gayles report deserves much better.

#394035 - 12/02/10 07:29 PM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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SP Daily Offline
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Good review...Thanks.

#394228 - 12/07/10 09:13 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Dr. Gayle: How The Seeds Of Violence Are Sown

Right now at the Bliss Center, Jamaican violence anthropologist Dr. Herbert is speaking about his groundbreaking work, the study on Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize.

The hefty research document was released two weeks ago and since then many policy makers, social scientist types, students, and observers have been wrestling with its 403 pages which are full of information and insights into the nature and the sources of violence in Belize.

Gayle is visiting Belize this week to discuss the body of work, and today he told us about the four factors that create violence in Belizean society:…

Dr. Herbert, Jamaican violence anthropologist
"The problem is 4 sets of stuff. It's one extreme inequality in such a very small place. You have a 3% solid people who have everything to create - to literally hold the economy together and then you have a massive 43% between 39 - 43% because there has to be a flex in the data of people who are below the poverty line, there is no way you can carry a country forward with that level of poverty. Two; there is no central political that is worth writing home about and the central [political authority we are talking about ranging from parliament to policing to civil society to media. The third one is mobilization. If you have these two things then mobilization is easy, it means that I feel that i am on my own, if they feel they are on their own there, going to create their own structures. Their own structure becomes the most efficient gangs. Gangs that are very useful because not only do gangs operate as family but they also make money, they also get girls, people have to respect you. So just by being a gang member you achieve everything. It solves everything at the risk of you being killed, but if you are dying anyway - what's the logic, what's the prohibition? What's going to stop you from becoming a gang member if you saw young friend walking down the road, he wasn't a gang member and he got shot. Why die innocent when you can die guilty. Human beings are pre-occupied with providing food, getting food [Jules Vasquez - fear of scarcity] yeah, while some women have luxury of receiving food even if 90% of the women are employed, it still doesn't matter. We grow up as men to know that her money is her money and my money is still her money, that is what all grow up knowing. There is nothing more profound. Every country I work there is a term leaves that stays in my head for the rest of my life 'catch and kill' it's just the most beautiful explanation of what males are doing. If we don't have a skill, if we are not employable you have to catch and kill, something has to get kill because you have to be able to provide food and you have to be able to provide food within a frame of protection."

We'll have more from that interview tomorrow… If you'd like to see the entire research document, you can find a link to it at

#394321 - 12/08/10 09:21 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Dr. Herbert Gayle’s Comprehensive Crime Report released

Since the release of the well known Anthropologist, Dr. Herbert Gayle’s detailed social research into Belize’s ever-present crime situation, there have been mixed reactions about the preliminary findings. The comprehensive report has now been released and the research highlights that the social state of the country is in decay. The four hundred page report of which more than half is presented in summary takes a critical look at the problem of crime and violence within the context of the wider Belizean society. The relevant government and non-government agencies will have to meet to look at recommendations as early as January to chart a way forward beginning with the implementation of an annual or biannual plan to address the problem. Dr. Gayle spoke with News Five today and shared his personal response to the findings.

Herbert Gayle, Anthropologist of Social Violence

Herbert Gayle

“I think what bothered me the most though was the fact that Belize City, I found to be the most dangerous place in the Caribbean to raise a child. Because it is so small, we found that ninety-nine percent of all children we studied were traumatized by violence, compared to fifty-odd percent in Jamaica. And people will say how is this possible given that Belize is ranked tenth most violent country in the world; Jamaica is ranked second. But the point is the space called — area, has one point one million people and it thirty-six miles to drive cross it. Belize City is six square miles. Its so very tiny, sitting on this very delicate delta and it means therefore that, if something happens over here because many of the people are related, either the child is going to end up seeing the dead body or they will be affected. So we found that small amounts of violence can impact Belize City tremendously.

Homicide rate this year is going to be over a thirty-five. We got a hundred and twenty, we can extrapolate. We can divide that into three hundred and twenty thousand people which is the extrapolated population of Belize right now. Thats gonna run you up to about thirty-six. Thats going to take you down to number seven or eight in the entire world. This is a big jump from tenyou dont want to get into the top five because when you get into the top five youre gonna have impacts on tourism, youre gonna have impacts on everything. Once Europol or Interpol list you as being in the top five, youre gonna find yourself in a completely different ballgame.”

Channel 5

#394322 - 12/08/10 09:22 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Gayle says race is not a determining factor in crime and violence

Among the various related topics brought up during Gayle’s lecture on Monday was the racial stereotype that Blacks and Hispanics are innately violent. Gayle contends that race is not among the determining factors that contribute to crime and violence. Instead it is the fact that a specific group of Belizeans are being oppressed which has a direct effect on the society. Gayle also emphasized the importance of gender equality in treating both boys and girls in the same fashion.

Herbert Gayle, Anthropologist of Social Violence

herbert gayle

“Last night I started out by addressing the black/Latino stupidity. Theres this thing right around the world that black people and Latinos have an imprint of violence, which is such nonsense. That is a point where I had to begin because if the communitiesI mean Ive worked in many white communities where the people are extremely violent. I dont see any black people or Latinos there killing each other; its either welsh people or any oppressed people. Race is unimportant. Its the fact that once a group of people are suppressed to the fact where they implode they are going to harm each other especially if they cant find a funnel out of it. Actually its the opposite people are funneled in, rather than being funneled out and once that happens then people are going to be involved in violence. What I have been trying to bring to people is that social violence is a bi-product of social ills.

When you have children and you have a boy, dont treat him like an animal and treat his sister like a human being. That is the root of the bulk of the problems were having. If you look at the little boys running around, you can see malnutrition, you can see all sorts of stuff. 38 I saw one girlthe first case I saw, a girl walking the street with malnutrition and then after that I saw the boys all over the place. Another thing that came up very strong in the study was that girls were not far behind boys, they are suffering too and whatever programs we construct for boys must be also constructed for girls to ensure that we dont have an affirmative action which then tilts the boat but that we have a balance sense of progress.”

Channel 5

#394323 - 12/08/10 09:22 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Marty Offline
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…And corruption in the police department is a result of neglect

Equally important among Gayle’s preliminary findings is corruption within the Belize Police Department. That, according to the research, is the result of neglect in the working environment. Over the years the needs of the department have been ignored and in the process officers have not been able to foster healthy relationships with the public.

Herbert Gayle

“Most of the stuff about the police were just way beyond me; levels of corruption high levels of neglect; the police being neglected themselves, which becomes natural—if I’m neglected I’m going to be corrupt. One of the first things that came out on the police was sympathy for them. I would be honest, before we started people were on the street saying do something about the police, them corrupt. You got the impression from everybody that here’s a bunch of guys who are just really out of this world. When you got to know them you realize they were more human than anybody else. They were suffering, poor equipment, poor relationship with other persons, not treated well by other people; just endless amount of problems. And that is something that we’re going to have to sit down with more than anything else and work on.

herbert gayle

We’re now heading towards intervention. As I said to people last year, this study is not about shelving, it’s about applying the research. And so we’re working with restore Belize, we want to look at intervention, we also want to spur people on the ground. Unfortunately I’m extremely busy; I’m in Trinidad, I’m in Jamaica, I’m in Europe doing stuff but I will do everything to come back here as often as possible to help people on the ground establish community cells, whatever they want to do to reach young people. Even though the study is about young boys, it’s also about young girls because there’s a relationship; boys are interested in girls and girls and interested in boys. That is how the specie goes on. So whatever is done to help curb the violence, I will be able to assist and I will actually come and help if I can.”

Channel 5

#394326 - 12/08/10 09:26 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Gayle Report Includes Terrifying Testimonials From Children

Dr. Herbert Gayle's 400 page study on the patterns of violence in Belize has been out for two weeks and one of the most compelling sections is Chapter 6.

It seeks to explain aggression in primary school children based on a sampling of a cross section of children who provided information using a number of techniques including animated life histories where they drew pictures of their surroundings and family relations.

All those were put together to form a composite image of how the child interacts with crime, violence and social disorder. Many of the narratives that came out are stunning and Dr. Gayle says that we still haven't heard the half.

Jules Vasquez
"People don't recognize those 92 children in chapter 6. Those can be Belizeans and if they are Belizeans they are out rightly fantasizing and prevaricating."

Dr. Herbert Gayle, Violence Anthropologist
"And yet we reduced the data. They are a very few times in my life I have done this. We had to reduce the data - what we call data reduction; we literally had to strip away areas of the data that would be so graphic that people choke rather than read. I kid you not, I have worked with kids in countries I won't even name. I have worked with kids who have been shot, who have their shoulder blown off, I have never been more traumatized than by that chapter - listening to kids give you inch by inch details of murders being committed in their house, in their neighborhood, right under their eyes sitting down and watching. In fact the only one we couldn't avoid putting was the little boy who stayed on the bed while his father kill his mother and then kill himself. I mean that kind of stuff was just all over the data. We had some of them that were so graphic, you could literally just go for the perpetrator, that is the kind of stuff that people are experiencing."

Jules Vasquez
"But it's an alarming exposure to and intimacy with violence, that's what comes out of that chapter. It is over exposed."

Dr. Herbert Gayle, Violence Anthropologist
"I mean look at that compare to Jamaica which I did a section on. Jamaica has the second highest murder rate in the world but Jamaica has space, Belize City is a speck, there is no way you are going to have 100 murders and people don't feel it. And this is what people are not understanding, the geography of Belize City. Belmopan would never have that, Cayo cannot have those kind of problems because they are more spread out. Even the very geography of this zone is a core factor - just one little tiny delta with a mass amount of problems, just, even the very topography, even the way Belize City is laid out is problematic. It's just canals, canals and canals, just....I've seen people houses lean on the gully bank and I'm like 'come on who sits down and let something like this happen?' Some of the things that the kids say we couldn't even write it down on the first draft, because you can't write those things, it's like just out of your own sense of being a human being, you can't write that down on paper because you don't want to read it again. And I am saying if that is their experience now, how are we going to convince them later that they are human beings? It depressed me you know, chapter 6 really depressed me, and that chapter we have taken the most care because they are children - we don't want anybody to identify anybody - so we've taken the most care to strip out stuff."

Jules Vasquez
"Yet even with all these scarred and damaged children, you still feel there is hope."

Dr. Herbert Gayle, Violence Anthropologist
"There is tremendous hope in Belize. A young population, how many other countries in the world...? I took one whole evening with a group of my friends to say can we find a second country in the world with 70% of the population below age 35? No we couldn't."

The full research including that chapter 6 can be found through a link at

#394862 - 12/15/10 09:41 AM Re: The Gayle Report complete: [Re: Marty]  
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Dr. Gayle’s concerns about raising a child in Belize City

The Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize research report recently released by Dr. Herbert Gayle, Caribbean social anthropologist and lecturer at the University of the West Indies, along with his Belize team takes a comprehensive look at the crime situation in Belize at a time when the homicide rate in the country is at a record high—but has the researcher exaggerated the severity of Belize’s situation or was he just being honest about it?

A Belizean observer and graduate of UWI has questioned whether Dr. Gayle was being subjective in his interpretation of his findings. The example offered was a recent television interview in Belize, in which Gayle stated: “I think what bothered me the most, though, was the fact that Belize City, I found to be the most dangerous place in the Caribbean to raise a child. Because it is so small, we found that ninety-nine percent of all children we studied were traumatized by violence, compared to fifty-odd percent in Jamaica....”

The observer questioned: How can Gayle compare Belize City with the whole of Jamaica? Is it that he is/was comparing apples and oranges?

“Belize City was compared to KINGSTON -- not Jamaica,” responded Gayle, when we asked him for clarification. “That would be unfair,” he said.

He continues: “Belize City is small and that magnifies all social impacts. In fact your population is so small that it is all of Belize that was compared to Kingston in the study.”

According to Gayle, while Jamaica is ranked 2nd most violent in the world and Belize 10th, or Jamaica [top] in the Caribbean and Belize 3rd, the impact of homicide and extreme violence on the two countries is different.

“The KMR (Kingston Metropolitan Region) has about 1.2 million people. It takes over 30 miles [of] travel to cross it. Half of these children will never be affected by violence, but in tiny Belize City, with a peri-urban area just beginning to form, almost all will be affected—as the study found,” Gayle explained.

“Let me... illustrate how size matters: Mexico has the most brutal killings in the world right now, but due to size, it is not even ranked in the top 10 in the world, as it relates to homicide.”

Gayle concluded that, “The good news about a small population is that recovery can also be quick, hence being small is not all gloom.”

On Page 289 of his research report, Gayle says, under the segment captioned, “Belize City as Possibly the Most Dangerous Place in the English-speaking Caribbean to Raise a Child”: “For over two decades Kingston has been branded the most dangerous place in the English-speaking Caribbean to raise a child. Between 2000 and 2010, the homicide rate for the Kingston Metropolitan Region (KMR) with an estimated population of 1.2 million has fluctuated roughly between 90 and 110 per 100,000. Over the last decade the KMR, though accounting for 45 percent of the population has had over two-thirds of Jamaica’s murders.

“In the last few years Greater Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, with its metropolitan population of over 270,000 has been challenging Kingston, Jamaica, in terms of murders per capita, with areas such as inner city Laventille accounting for disproportions of the country’s murders.

“Belize City has had significantly lower homicide rates despite an explosion in homicide since 2002. In fact, Belize City’s homicide rate has fluctuated between 60 and 80 murders per 100,000. Not surprisingly Belize is the third most violent country in the Caribbean.”

The researcher asked: How, then, can Belize City have the 3rd highest murder rate but become possibly the most unsafe place for children in the Caribbean as supported by the data?

“The answer lies in the issues of size and concentration of murders, velocity of firearms and preparedness for war trauma,” the Gayle report indicates. “In 2009, the Belize District had 110,100 persons. Of this number, 66,700 people are estimated to reside on a river delta of about 6 square miles, most of them crammed into what is known as the Southside.”

During the 7-year span from 2002 to 2009, Gayle noted, more than half the 700 murders in Belize were committed in the Belize District and more specifically in the Belize City area.

“In a space of this size it is impossible to escape being traumatized by over 300 (of the 703) murders that occurred between 2002 and 2009. These years would be fresh in the minds of the adolescent and youth respondents,” said Gayle.


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