Letter to the Editor: Firecrackers

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Editor
For the last several months I have been awoken every morning to the sound of explosions. These explosions continue all day and continue late into the night. Day in and day out. I am of course talking about the illegal activity of setting off fireworks. As everyone in Belize knows, the importation, the possession and use of fireworks are illegal in Belize yet year after year from early November till mid-January the use of fireworks continues unabated on San Pedro. Customs does nothing to stop the flow of these illegal explosives into our country and our island from Guatemala. The police do nothing when they drive by young children setting off fireworks and I assume they would do nothing if you called the station to report them as the dozens of times I have called the station to report it no one has every answered the phone. I do not want to hear that this is part of our culture, it isn’t. Fireworks are illegal in Belize and always have been as long as I can remember. As far as it doesn’t hurt anyone that also is not true. The constant noise disrupts the daily lives of everyone in a three-block area. Over the years the firecrackers have progressed from the small finger bangers to the M80’s to the quarter sticks of dynamite now used. I have seen children from 6-12 years of age light firecrackers and laugh as they throw them at each other. Do we need to wait until a child is seriously hurt or killed before we put an end to this illegal activity? Another consideration. As we all know Guatemala is claiming most of the country of Belize. Fireworks are legal in Guatemala but illegal in Belize. If we continue to turn a blind eye to this illegality in our own country what’s to stop Guatemala from using this and other things we allow to happen when and if we go to the ICJ as examples of how we embrace and practice the customs of Guatemala even though it is against Belize law? Might sound farfetched but I don’t want to give them any more ammo. Looked what’s happened at the Sarstoon.

/s/ Sam Trucco

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