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Taiwanese, Chinese expats demand social order in Belize

2011/04/13 15:19:14

Taipei, April 13 (CNA) Taiwanese and Chinese communities havetaken to the streets in Belize to demand for law enforcement andsocial order following the murder of two Chinese businesswomen in theCentral American country, a Taiwan official said Wednesday.

The expat communities joined forces and staged a protest and anationwide shutdown of all Chinese-owned and operated stores for twodays after the murders, Lin Cheng-hui, deputy director-general of theDepartment of Central and South American Affairs under the Ministryof Foreign Affairs (MOFA), said in an interpellation session of theLegislative Yuan.

Lin told opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)Legislator Tsai Huang-liang, who had mistakenly asked whether theMOFA had learned of the murder cases of "two Taiwanese businessmen, "that the victims were Chinese.

Yan Ying Chen, a 32-year-old naturalized Belizean, and Fei LanWu, a 37-year-old Chinese, were shot to death inside their shops byburglars at Belize City, the country's largest city, on April 2.

Lin said a Taiwanese businessman was also killed in a similarburglary case several months ago and that widespread homicides hadprompted the Belize Chinese Association and Taiwanese Chamber ofCommerce to stage a protest between April 4-5 demanding that theBelizean government improve social order.

The Taiwan Embassy in Belize has also sent representatives tomeet with the prime minister of Belize to express concerns on publicsecurity, Lin said. Belize is one of 23 countries with which Taiwanhas official diplomatic ties.

Lin said he believes the murders were random acts of violence,rather than crimes directed intentionally at people of Chineseethnicity.

According to Belizean media, arrests have been made in bothcases. Belizean media also reported that 38 people have been murderedso far this year in Belize, eight more than in the same period lastyear.

(By Chris Wang)