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.