Crime — 17 August 2012 — by Aaron Humes

To date in 2012 there have been 92 murders, exceeding the record paces set at this point in 2010 and 2011, when there were 131 and 123 murders, respectively, for the entire year.

After eight consecutive months, September of 2011 to March of 2012, when fewer than ten murders were recorded per month, a feat credited by authorities to the success of the gang truce signed at the end of August, 2011, April to July of 2012 has seen four consecutive double-digit months: 21, 16, 15 and 13, respectively. There have been six murders to date in August.

Looking a little more closely at our statistics for murders we established the following trend. For the last three years, murder victims between the ages of 18 and 30 have numbered around half the total of murder victims per year: 68 in 2010, which is 51.9%; 63 in 2011, which is 51.2%, and to date in 2012, 46 for 50% even.

Murder victims aged 18 and under in each of those years number 16 for 2010, 13 for 2011, and 11 for 2012. Within the 19 to 29 age bracket, the numbers are 47, 47 and 35, respectively.

2012’s list includes 11-year-old Daniel Matura, killed accidentally by his cousin Andrew Willoughby in May in attempted retaliation for the death of Kaylon Matura, 28, a week prior; 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe, viciously murdered and dumped in Cristo Rey; Kirk Hemmans, 16, killed while returning from buying food, caught in the middle of a muddled turf war in his neighborhood; 17-year-old Daniel Alamilla and 18-year-old Charlie Espat, San Pedranos found murdered in shallow graves in Orange Walk in mysterious circumstances; Shanny Fredersdorf, killed with her mother Clari by invading robbers at their hotel in Corozal Town; Raheem Smith, stabbed to death at the end of a dispute over a bicycle; Kendis Pike, Dale Tillett, and Myrick Gladden, more gang warfare victims; and Tevin Ferguson, who attempted to end someone’s life two weeks ago and was himself gunned down instead.

The other side of the coin is the increasing number of teenagers and young people brought to court on charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery, burglary and others.

It is most exemplified by the recent case of John Chessman, Jr., 22, charged with murder for the fourth time in seven years, the first charge having been imposed when he was a minor. He has been previously acquitted three times.

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