The Gangs

There are many gangs in Belize City (12 active at last count) mostly divided into two groups, blue and red.

For the past several months the violent activity in Belize city has been pretty dormant.

Last week we got word that Jaheim, one of our students, had been told by the George Street gang, where he lives, that in order to be initiated into the gang he would have to do bodily harm to Egbert. Egbert is another one of our students who happens to be from a “blue” area. The George Street gang is one of the “red” gangs.

Ms Candi confronted that situation head-on in class and we thought we had it under control.

Then on Saturday night four members of the George Street gang were down in Dangriga where gunfire erupted. The leader of the George Street gang was killed. I’m getting mixed signals about whether another of the gang was killed but at least one other of the group was injured, maybe more.  Immediately the word went out and all the night clubs and bars in Belize City were closed down for fear of immediate retaliation.

Yesterday morning Ms Candi was on the phone from 5:00 am talking with parents from our school.  Egbert had been threatened that if he showed up at school yesterday, it would be his last.  Ms Candi told him to stay home and he will probably stay home until we decide differently.

Harrison also stayed home.  He is from a ‘red’ area but he has to walk through a good bit of ‘blue’ territory to get to school.

Jahiem, mentioned above, who is trying to decide how badly he wants in the gang because his best friends are in it, also did not come to school yesterday.  I saw him riding his bicycle with a gang member.

At the end of the school day we were at athletic practice when Ms Candi got a call and went back to school. Persons from the Ministry of Education wanted to talk with her and gave her some free advice about how she should handle things. (She was a little miffed.)

After she returned, we took the half dozen students home from discus practice advising them to just go home and stay there for the evening.  Everyone is on pins and needles right now.  There will be retribution but no one knows who, when, where or how.

Prayers are welcome. I mean it.

7 thoughts on “The Gangs

  1. Members at Asheboro Friends Meeting in NC will be praying at Prayer Meeting tonight. May God give you protection and wisdom in these days.
    Pastor Pat Thames

  2. Dale, I will share this at Winchester on Sunday and ask for special prayers. We are also praying for your safety and well being. Do the Pedigos, who had to deal with Cabrini Green gang violence, receive your newsletters? Bill Wagoner

  3. I know this might be hard to do, but you will need to make the school a “free” zone that is welcoming to all gang members, but they must be friends. I had to do that in Detroit MI with the 3 or 4 gangs who tried to make the library “their” territory. I just stood up to them with words that they could understand in their “blunt” language. But what really worked was that fact I have no fear. They want you to fear and once they learn they can’t have that power over you, you will surprised how calm the situation will get. I told them I don’t lower my standards for them because they were able to meet my high standards. It was tough for a while, but once they understood I would not back down or fear, respect came. Once you set up that safety zone, then you work on safe passages or ways to get the students through the streets to get to school

    I even join a local citizen’s radio patrol to drive the local neighbors at night to keep on eye out on “my kids”. How can I be with no fear and not even flinch gun shots? The fear part is easy, my strong faith that God would protect me or if not, my death would do the greatest good. I got use to gun shots living and working in Detroit Michigan for 14 years. Being a person who found Quakerism in my 20s, I don’t use or want a gun. I just stand my ground with my month and firmness.

    Please don’t give up. Gangs thrive where adults don’t. The kids are looking for “families” and rules. Once the adults stand up and work together, you can take the area back, we did in Detroit.

    Good Luck and just remember God will give you the words and actions you need to do the good.

  4. I have been moved to pray that you, your school and your students will be surrounded by a legion of heavenly angels to protect and guide you. And I pray that your students will decide to join not a red gang nor a blue gang but rather the crystal-clear family of God, with Jesus Christ as their elder Brother and Lord.

    I wonder if the idea of a third choice, other than a red gang or a blue gang, would make sense to your students. The leader of the family of God is well able to defend the members of the family, and they may say so with confidence.

    Hebrews 13:5b-6 NIV84
    God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
    So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?”

    Psalm 144:5-12 NIV84
    (5) Part your heavens, O LORD, and come down; touch the mountains, so that they smoke.
    (6) Send forth lightning and scatter the enemies; shoot your arrows and rout them.
    (7) Reach down your hand from on high; deliver me and rescue me from the mighty waters, from the hands of foreigners
    (8) whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
    (9) I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,
    (10) to the One who gives victory to kings, who delivers his servant David from the deadly sword.
    (11) Deliver me and rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.
    (12) Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.

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