The Belize Riot
What Really Happened
A Belize riot is the last thing a tourist need worry about. These events generally take place at the seat of government in Belmopan. Belmopan is not likely to attract a lot of tourists. A Belize riot is usually well covered by Amandala Belize, a leading newspaper, Belize channel 7 news, and Belize channel 5 news.
April's riot started out as peaceful demonstration over the Belize telephone strike, and of course grew into a full fledged riot due to government provocation.
Here is the story as reported by CSI.
BELIZE CITY, Belize (23 Apr 2005) -- Throngs of students apparently fed up by disruption of Internet and phone service staged a demonstration that turned violent this week in this tiny Caribbean coast country.Police arrested more than 100 young people, mostly college and high school students, who were protesting a telecommunications strike that shut down telephone, fax and Internet services throughout Belize.Most of the 500 employees of Belize Telecommunications Limited, or BTL, have returned to work, but technicians have yet to restore all of the nation's fixed, cell and Internet services and police are still deployed there.The protest began as a peaceful sit-in by students on a bridge in the capital, Belize City; they defied police who tried to disperse the crowds.Additional protesters, most of them unemployed, inner-city youths, joined the demonstration and began lighting fires on the bridge.An angry mob headed to the downtown area and looted music shops and cellular phone stores. The rioting lasted more than two hours until a riot squad restored order.Police commissioner Gerald Westby said his forces initially exercised restraint because the protesters were mostly students, but his department will put down any acts of vandalism and deal with perpetrators.Prime Minister Said Musa appealed to Belizeans to remain calm during a news conference Thursday morning. He also blamed Dean Barrow, the leader of the opposition, for inciting civil disobedience.The BTL strike was designed to return the company, currently foreign-owned, to Belizean hands. BTL is caught up in a foreign tug-of-war between Carlisle Group, headquartered in Hertfordshire, England, and Innovative Communication Corporation, of Christiansted on St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Another Belize riot took place in January 2005 over the governments failure to renew a bus company’s license, without a legitimate reason, stranding students and commuters. It appears the government official was using his authority to punish the bus company’s owner without regard to the difficulties inflicted on the citizens. There is nothing more evil than the state. It doesn’t seem to matter what state it is.
January Belize riot over taxes and other government issues
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