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Opposition and third parties call out GoB on 2023’s bloody start

HighlightsOpposition and third parties call out GoB on 2023’s bloody start

BELMOPAN, Thurs. Jan. 19, 2023 

Still recovering from the shock and trauma of the year ending New Year’s Eve double murder in Belmopan, the convulsions of pain and grief erupted once more in the capital city on Sunday evening with the news that Vivian Ramnarace, the wife of one of the slain men, and who had herself suffered and was steadfastly recovering from six gunshot wounds after over a week in intensive care at the KHMH, had suddenly relapsed and died; and those convulsions of grief and pain quickly spread across the country of Belize. What are we coming to? And then there was also a surge of righteous anger expressed on social media and around the nation. We absolutely cannot go on like this!

On Sunday night, Vivian Ramnarace succumbed to the wounds she sustained during the attack on her family which left her husband and his brother dead. She is now the third victim of that single incident – a triple murder that an infamous former police officer, Elmer Nah, has been charged with. Crime in Belize has been an uphill battle since independence, and various governments have been called on decisively to address the situation, but little progress has been made over the years. 

Following the death of Vivian Ramnarace – a celebrated marine environmentalist –the United Democratic Party and the Belize Progressive Party have both released public statements – calling for a full investigation and prosecution of the alleged perpetrator. In a release issued yesterday, the BPP called for the government to allocate more resources toward tighter gun laws within the country, strengthening gun control and the requirements for licensing.

“Senseless shootings and deaths are at an all-time high in our country. Stricter punishment needs to be executed. Transparency of law enforcement agencies needs to be upheld,” the release from BPP states. 

They called on the government to take steps to ensure that “the rule of law is upheld across the board,” and noted that “changes start at the leadership and government level.” 

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Shyne Barrow in expressing his sympathy to the family of the victims said that “The Opposition will continue its call along with the entire Nation that justice is served in the execution of Vivian, Jon, and David Ramnarace until the perpetrator is convicted and put away for life.” 

Earlier this year, the police department announced the imminent launch of its Crime Prevention and Crime Control Plan, a strategic plan that will offer a holistic approach in addressing the crime situation in the country, says Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dr. Richard Rosado. He shared that a new three-tier approach will be implemented to address crime in Belize. 

But citizens are becoming tired of the plans and the promises; their patience is running thin, and they want to see results. They want justice for their loved ones, so that the senseless killings with impunity can stop. They want justice “to be seen to be done,” and that means that if it takes international assistance to convict the big criminals in Belize, then that is what must be done.

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