BELIZE CITY, Mon. June 27, 2016–Jamaican social violence anthropologist, Dr. Herbert Gayle, will host a forum at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 at the auditorium of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus in Belize City. An announcement from UWI says that Gayle, a lecturer at the university, will explore the root causes of social violence in Belize and the necessary policies and approaches required to address this growing social issue, as presented in the “Male Social Participation and Violence in Urban Belize” report published in 2010.
The forum is a prelude to the launch of Gayle’s new book, Like Bush Fire, which will be unveiled by his publisher, Cubola, this week. Coauthors of the book are Virginia Hampton and Nelma Mortis.
“Come and rap about what’s happening,” Gayle said, in an interview with the press today, adding that the new book also looks at where Belize is currently, 6 years since his 2010 report.
Reporters asked Gayle to comment on the present state of affairs, particularly in light of the recent spate of killings, and the broad daylight shooting by a minor of a cop and two civilians right in front of the main police station on Queen Street in Belize City.
“I would not overcook the soup on that incident; however, it should be alarming that this is the extreme to which the human species can get if we just constantly walk around feeling frustrated and helpless without actively doing something,” Gayle said.
“Things are not getting worse,” he told the press, adding that he has seen progress and he has the data, since he keeps track of what has been happening in Belize, which he calls his second home.
Gayle also underscored the high cost of violence which burdens small countries such as Belize.
“The kinds of costs that violence brings especially to a small developing country, is a bit too much for us to bear. You know, 12, 15, 20 percent of one ministry’s budget alone just for stabbings, shootings and so forth, is just simply too much,” Gayle told reporters.