Ministry of National Security Clarifies Report on Gang-Related Murders

Belmopan. July 31, 2019. The Ministry of National Security wishes to record its disappointment with the inaccurate reporting carried out by multiple media houses earlier this week, claiming that all murders reported in Belize for the month of June were gang-related.

The media incorrectly cited the June 2019 Crime Analysis Report published by the Belize Crime Observatory (BCO). The report provided a detailed breakdown of the location of the incidents, noting that nine had been recorded by Belize City police. This included the 5 murders at Swallow Caye, which fell under the jurisdiction of Belize City Police Department.

The media reports which claimed that the BCO stated that all murders for June were gang-related are incorrect and irresponsible and does no good for those who are the audience of these messages.

The message that was aired on a number of these media houses gave the impression that the law enforcement agencies had no control over the crime situation and that the gangs are in fact in control, which is far from the truth. The Ministry asks that in the future, if reference is made from the BCO data, that it is done verbatim and if there is a requirement for the reference to be used in a different context, that it is done accurately.

The Commissioner of Police was well in order to refute the incorrect assertion made by a reporter, during an interview on Monday, 29 July 2019.  

It is unfortunate that this type of irresponsible journalism reaches regional audiences, and as a consequence, gave the impression of a lack of safety and security in Belize.