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US Donates Crimefighting Equipment -Crimefighters Still Needed

Weapons that need replacing...

Last week, the United States government, represented locally by H.E. Vinai Thummalapally, donated crime fighting equipment to the Belize Government, in this instance represented by National Security Minister, Hon. Carlos Perdomo.

According to Channel 7 News, “the package include [sic] bullet proof vests, handcuffs, cameras, binoculars, night vision equipment, heavy duty flashlights, metal detectors, metal scanners, video projectors, computers, global positioning receivers and anti contraband equipment.” Upon closer questioning, we discovered that the video projectors were of highest priority to the Belize Police Department because there are times they want to, but cannot, make Powerpoint presentations to alleged criminals while chasing them down the street on foot because their patrol vehicle broke down for lack of parts.

Ambassador Thummalapally also explained that this is just the first stage of funding for the Merida Initiative. This initiative is a US attempt to strengthen law enforcement in the countries surrounding its borders in an effort to fight drug trafficking and reduce the instances in which LA cops get in trouble for beating and/or shooting suspects in front of video cameras.

The ambassador also mentioned that in the coming months Belize would receive vehicles for the Police Department (rumor has it that some will even have fuel); a new communications system for the prison (prisoners weren’t able to plan escapes efficiently using the old one); and an expansion of Belize’s automated fingerprint system. This last one surprised us, and we asked many in-depth technical questions about it, such as:

“You mean, Belize has an automated fingerprint system?”

“How will it be expanded? Will it now handle all ten fingers instead of just one little one?”

“Will it be sensitive enough to detect politicians’ fingerprints on the people’s wallets?”

The National Security spokesman we interviewed responded by shoving his hands in his pockets.

In the spirit of giving the public something to look forward to, Minister Perdomo advised the media that “we are on the road now to see the physical assistance so that maybe three or four years from now when we are better and more fully equipped, our law enforcement can’t say I nuh have this and I nuh have that.”

We have since verified for the purposes of accuracy that the timeline of ‘three or four years’ does take into account stolen weapons and misplaced equipment.


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Crime Wave More Like Tsunami, Compol Concedes

handcuffsToday the Commissioner of Police gave a brief statement to the media, during which the podium he was using was stolen. When he called the police to report the theft, they told him that they would come as soon as they had a vehicle.

Speaking awkwardly without anything to lean on, the beleaguered police commissioner admitted that crime was out of control but maintained that the police were doing all they could to keep the country as safe as it is right now. He expressed confidence that things can’t get any worse because they’re “already really, really bad.”

Regarding his recent claims that crime had actually gone down, the Compol was asked why he was changing his tune now. He insisted that he had made those claims as a kind of positive reinforcement; if people heard crime was down, they might believe it and so the criminals would ease off. This “kind of backfired” as the criminals turned out to be overachievers, so this week’s approach would be under the motto ‘honesty is the best policy, especially from cops.’ He admitted that this concept would take some radical adjustment as it was unfamiliar to his personnel, but was optimistic that intensive training would help.

The Commissioner wrapped up the conference by saying that if this revised approach didn’t work, they’d go back to ‘reinterpreting the statistics’ next month.

To date, his podium has not been recovered, nor have the police arrived to investigate.

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Belize Government Announces Policy Shift

Economist Pocket World in Figures, 2009

Economist Pocket World in Figures, 2009

(Belmopan, Sept 15, 2009) Today the Government announced a radical policy shift. Responding to the country’s listing in the Economist’s 2009 Pocket World in Figures as the world murder capital, a government spokesman said “it’s really the per capita analysis of the statistics that makes us look bad. Otherwise, people get murdered every day in lots of countries, like Afghanistan and Iraq, so we wouldn’t have a problem if it weren’t for our population size.”

In view of this assessment, the government’s approach to the problem will now be to increase the population “in order to dilute the murder rate.”

The Ministry of National Security has fully endorsed this policy shift, stating that “we’re having so much trouble catching the murderers, getting them sentenced through the court system and thereby reducing the murder rate that we agree that the next best option is to “increase the population so that the murder rate at least looks lower.”

The Immigration Department and the Tourism Board have therefore been officially tasked to “get people into the country, and keep them here.” Officials from those agencies could not be reached for comment. Meanwhile, inside sources suggest that duty on condoms will be increased, and birth control pills will no longer be readily available.

Update: many thanks to alert readers who sent in this story.

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