Endangered species Print E-mail
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Written by By Alfonso Noble   
Friday, 17 May 2019 00:00

On the night of March 20, Joshua Jeremy Gillett was walking in the Antelope Street Extension Area when he came under attack; he was shot to the back as a gunman targeted him.

On April 17, Shane Jones was in a yard on Youth for the Future Drive when he was attacked; again he too was shot.

On Tuesday May 7, shortly before 8 a.m. a group of young men, who were standing near a store on Youth for the Future Drive came under attack. Another lone young man stood on the opposite side of where the group was and unleashed a barrage of gunshots at the group. No one was injured.

Most recently, shortly after 7 a.m. on Tuesday, May 14 the body of Lyndon Baldwin was found inside his yard at the corner of Ebony Street and Youth for the Future Drive. He had been shot. Residents believe he had been shot sometime in the night and it was not until the following morning that his body was found.

There are common threads that are woven among these men. They are all young; they are all black; and they are all friends. They frequent the same area around Conch Shell Bay, Ebony Street and Youth for the Future Drive. They are in effect neighbors of The Guardian Newspaper. Unfailingly we see them every day: in the morning, in the afternoon and at night. They are like a fixtures around us and from time to time we get to engage them in conversations. From what we have been able to gather, none of them work, none of them can move beyond the aforementioned area, and none of them see themselves doing anything more than just hanging around. Sadly, just the day before his demise, Baldwin had walked into our offices for some assistance, he was planning on starting a new job. Unfortunately, his plan never materialized.

These young men are like hundreds of others across Belize City. They are aimless souls that just survive for survival sake; they have nothing to look forward to. Their reality is that they are confined within a single block in Belize City; any misadventure outside of their block and their fate is doomed. It is such a chronic problem for that they are now even being targeted where they are most of the time.

This latest active hunting and their execution seems to be rooted in what most view as petty rivalries. A bit of hard talk on these streets of Belize City will end your life. Just last week, I was witness to some of those hard talks and the protagonist in that was Baldwin. From what I was able to discern, there was some hard talk over the incident that had taken place where they young men had been shot at. There was some raised voices where I heard Baldwin say, “I no fraid fi non a deh.” The hard talk continued and that was the end of that. It’s the kind of talk that we hear regularly around here but when it is that someone is actually taken down, there is nothing we can do but to wonder if that one instance may have contributed to Baldwin’s death.

For myself, I will always remember him as one of the youths around us who was mild-mannered and calm, at least when he would give me the casual hellos which he often would.

We have a problem in the city where petty rivalries are no longer settled with fist fights or through communication. Petty rivalries are settled by the business side of a gun.