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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

The definition for the above Spanish word is, a place where one feels safe, or the area in the bullring where the bull feels most comfortable, or a favorite spot or place. We all have our querencia, whether it is our favorite watering hole, a room in our home, the location of our friends whom we get together with occasionally, wherever you are most comfortable. It is derived from the word “querer”, to love, or to want.

It seems to me that the Briceño government has found that spot, that haven. That they have become comfortable in their own skins, and have decided that they might be invincible in the way they govern. The Barrow administration felt that way, were cloaked in an aura of invincibility. Today, there are just 5 of them remaining, useless, and just there in the House as props for the ruling party, which doesn’t respect them or their opinions. Opposition in name only!

The honeymoon has been over for a while now; the wife is getting restless, because her husband isn’t as romantic, as caring, as giving as he was in the first few years. That is what it feels like right now in the Jewel. The police lack leadership; our borders are unprotected; crime is getting worse day by day; our environment is being abused by natural disasters and worse, by greedy investors who don’t care what rare species they destroy, as they dredge our sea and cut down our mangroves and our rainforests, all in the spirit of progress and financial gains, for a happy few.

Lately, deforestation has been in the news because of the forest fires and the heavy rains that seem to flood areas that were once flood-proof and are now flood plains or flood-prone! According to reports, they’re even shaving off parts of our pristine hills off the Hummingbird! But this has been going on for a long time. We are just now realizing the effects that greed and unscrupulous investments can cause, on our environment, in our paradise.

And now we are in another state of emergency because the police are not doing their jobs. Because the Minister of Police seems handcuffed when it comes to changing the guard, which is his duty. It is insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results, which is, more crime! The only people these SOEs affect are poor people who live in those zones of interest to the cops. The gangs will weather the storm and return to their usual activities in 90 days or in 6 months. Nothing changes, nada!

Look, I want this government to succeed, because it means that Belize is succeeding! But right now it seems to me that the corruption and incompetence of the last administration are rapidly seeping into the veins of the current! That is not a good thing, especially for weary citizens who are living their lives as prisoners in their own homes, their own communities, cannot afford gas or food, decent food! It is time for our leaders to reassure the citizens that they are safe, that they have freedom of movement, without fear of retribution, because they live in a land of law and order! That price gouging will be dealt with, that the selling of goods way past their expiration dates will stop, that the gougers will be prosecuted, whether friend or family of government officials!

Maybe we weren’t ready for independence; maybe we were too immature as a nation to be left to our own devices. I don’t know. What I do know is that whenever a government starts living in that safe space, the results are never good! Government does not, and cannot afford to have the luxury of Querencia! They must eternally be on guard for all that will come their way, to be evenhanded in governance, to be democratic guardians of their country, of the rights of the people, and to develop our Jewel in a manner that is beneficial to all, not just for the happy few!

I feel the same way about governance in America. We shouldn’t have to remind elected officials why they ran for office. It is to serve the people, not yourselves!


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