Compared to the Mississippi, the Rio Grande, which separates the United States from Mexico, is not a wide river. So, if you are travelling by road west to El Paso, Texas, on Interstate 10, when you are approaching El Paso at night on your left you can see the lights of the Mexican city across the river. That is Juárez.
If you have a kilo of cocaine in Juárez, all you have to do is get it across the Rio Grande to El Paso, and that kilo will increase in value maybe forty times. In a nutshell, this is how the trade in illegal narcotics becomes so violent. Because of the incredible “value added” between two cities which are physically close to each other, a man will do anything he has to do to protect his kilo as he moves it from Juárez to El Paso. And conversely, another man will do violent and dangerous things to separate him from that kilo. The owner of the kilo will be more exposed, more at risk, as he travels from Juárez to El Paso.
Juárez is an extremely violent city, because Juárez is so close to the American market, where illegal narcotics skyrocket in value.
Some of the cocaine which reach Mexican/U.S. border points, from Texas all the way west through New Mexico and Arizona to California, has passed through Belize by land, by sea, and by air. Cocaine is not going to increase forty times in value between its arrival in Belize and its departure into Mexico. But, there are occasions on which people have managed to move the narcotics directly into the United States from Belize, and those narcotics do take on the phenomenal value added. If the value added from Belize to Mexico is only five or ten times, say, there is still a lot of money to be made, much more than in legitimate business, in the transshipment of drugs through Belize.
There are a few wealthy families and organizations in Belize which are in this business, but it should be noted that they are also well established in legitimate businesses, and they are prominent and respectable here where social institutions like churches, schools, political parties, and civic organizations are concerned. From day to day, the people at the top of the narcotics pyramid are well below the radar.
It is on the streets of Belize City where narcotics-related violence takes place so frequently among the thousands of unemployed, unskilled youth who are mostly fighting for crumbs off the narcotics table. The fact that the fight is for crumbs does not make the violence any less deadly, and things have gotten so bad that the violence has become gratuitous. A simple quarrel or dispute which has nothing to do with narcotics, can lead to the level of violence which is usually associated with the narcotics business.
Another aspect of the involvement of petty individuals or groups in business which is related to narcotics, is the opportunity for exponential growth. From time to time, individuals or groups have risen to fame and fortune. This is not fame and fortune which would be available for them in the legitimate world, and the fame and fortune are achieved through the ability and willingness to employ deadly violence.
If you return to the Juárez-El Paso juxtaposition model, you will see why people like myself ascribe the ultimate blame for Belize’s domestic violence to the American citizens who consume drugs and are willing to pay big money for said drugs. If the American government, theoretically speaking, were able to persuade its citizens to stop using drugs and paying so much money for illegal narcotics from foreign sources, then those illegal narcotics would lose a lot of their value, and violence related to their production, shipment and distribution would decrease. But, that’s not going to happen.
So then, we have this situation where the aforementioned United States government has diverted a significant section of Belize’s security forces to the job of policing the industry of illegal drugs in our society. The United States wires funds, ships equipment, and sponsors special training for sections of our security forces, whose priority has become the confiscation of drugs and the apprehension of drug dealers/traffickers. The narcotics problem, in the first instance, arose in the United States, but it has to be solved, apparently, south of the border.
On Monday morning, less than a half block from where I was working in my office, two young men exchanged words. One got on his bike as if to ride away, according to witnesses, then swung right back, took out a gun, and shot the unarmed other young man in his head. The murderer didn’t have on a mask, he did it in front of witnesses, and he clearly didn’t care.
He must have done this type of thing before, and he would have likely acquired this level of cold-bloodedness and firepower from involvement in a gang. Gangs in Belize City, among other things, steal drugs, sell drugs, protect drugs, and so on and so forth.
As I understand it, the countries of the European Union (EU) are the ones who are saying to our Belizean leaders in Belize that Belize has to abide by the EU’s guidelines where discipline in Belize is concerned. Who are the European Union? Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Portugal, etc. Check their history. Check their history. Italy, for instance, invaded helpless Ethiopia in 1935 and needlessly slaughtered thousands of Ethiopians. This newspaper has recently been trying to give you a sense of what Belgium’s Leopold II did to our Congolese brethren and sistren. But, how do the masses of the Belizean people check this when the real history of Europe is not taught in our schools and the Son of God is painted to look like a European?
What you are seeing of Europe today is the finished product after the Europeans invaded, enslaved, colonized and oppressed the rest of the world. It wasn’t nice, but the Europeans rose from bloody barbarians to sophisticated world rulers. Now, they tell us what we can and cannot do. And, constitutionally, Belize supposedly became independent in 1981. Yet, we have become a people who shake our heads, helplessly.
The answer, they say, is to pray. I don’t think so. The answer lies in learning the truth. Rome and Canterbury are not in the business of providing truth. They are in the business of European propaganda. On the ground, we need to find out the truth of things. Once we know the truth of things, we can organize to resist. One should not co-exist with evil. One should resist evil. Praying is okay, for temporary solace. But, down the road, resistance is the answer. That is why we became Belizeans, in order to resist.
Power to the people.