Children who have lived in the Shadows…The US is providing a light…read more

Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Over the past three years, this Administration has undertaken an unprecedented effort to transform the immigration enforcement system into one that focuses on public safety, border security and the integrity of the immigration system. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) continues to focus its enforcement resources on the removal of individuals who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety, including individuals convicted of crimes with particular emphasis on violent criminals, felons, and repeat offenders, DHS will exercise prosecutorial discretion as appropriate to ensure that enforcement resources are not expended on low priority cases, such as individuals who came to the United States as children and meet other key guidelines.

Individuals who demonstrate that they meet the guidelines below may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals for a period of two years, subject to renewal, and may be eligible for employment authorization.   You may request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals if you:

1. Were under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012;

2. Came to the United States before reaching your 16th birthday;

3. Have continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, up to the present time;

4. Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making your request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS;

5. Entered without inspection before June 15, 2012, or your lawful immigration status expired as of June 15, 2012;

6. Are currently in school, have graduated or obtained a certificate of completion from high school, have obtained a general education development (GED) certificate, or are an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or Armed Forces of the United States; and

7. Have not been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor, three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.   Individuals may begin to request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals on August 15, 2012.  Please do not file before August 15.  If you file early, your request will be rejected.  Individuals can call USCIS at     1-800-375-5283       with questions or to request more information on the deferred action for childhood arrivals process or visit

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Last updated: 08/14/2012

What Could Happen To Belize As We Become Official Malpagos According to FiWeBelize

ImageMonths before the just now released declaration of non-payment of the super bond, fellow blogger Cayo Buay wrote an article outlining what could happen based on what has already happened in Greece. It’s a quick read. What do you think?

Jackee Burns breaks the status quo “silence” by: Aria Lightfoot

Jackee Burns- Picture taken a day before her violent rape

Belize has a well-known secret that is an uncomfortable truth to talk about.  Many women are victims of child sexual predators and rape. It is estimated that one in four women are victims of sexual abuse.  After writing my piece about Jasmine Lowe, several people shared their personal abuse experiences with me.  Fayemarie shared her personal experience on Twocanview.armchair-psychologists-why-he-is-not-a-monster-by-fayemarie-anderson-carter-ma

The nameless and faceless victims shared stories of well-respected men in the society who fondled and abused them. They shared stories of family members, neighbors, shopkeepers and strangers who were never brought to light or prosecuted for their deviancy because they either never came forward or when they did, those who should protect them preferred to pretend the abuse never happened.   Belize has unknowingly and unfortunately created an inviting culture for vultures and predators to thrive while sexual abuse becomes taboo and shameful for the victim.  Every night in Belize some child has “dark shadows” lurking in their bedrooms.

My story today is a powerful survivor named Jackee Burns, a teacher in Belmopan.  She shared her traumatic and chilling experiences first as a child and then as an adult victim of a violent rape.  She finally opened up to her mother knowing she was telling me this story.  She feels that each time she shares her story, a part of her continues to heal within.

Jackee Burns is a respected teacher and has a compelling story to tell.  She in her own way is fighting the status quo of silence and emerging as a trusted entity for victims. Jackee endured two traumatic experiences in her life, one as a five year old child who was unable to articulate her experiences when she was violated by her very own uncle and another violent rape as a young adult charting out in her new life.

At the age of five years old, Jackee’s dad moved in his younger 13 year brother into his home.  The house was a modest house with three bedrooms and a family of seven.  Jackee’s teenage uncle slept in the living room on a cot. He did not stay there all the time, but when he did, she recalls a dark shadow entering her bedroom and lifting up her dress and fondling her.  As a young child she could not express what was happening to her and would not even open her eyes during the experience.  She recalls crying and the shadow would disappear.   She also has broken memories of being locked in a bedroom with her teenage uncle and remembering white substances on the sheet of the bed which she now knows was semen.

Jackee started complaining to her parents of a ghost that would come touch her from under her bed and so her father started to check in on her to make sure she would be okay. He would come in and make sure she fell asleep.   One fateful night, her uncle entered her room and was caught in the act by her father. Her father severely beat up his brother as Jackee recalls blood on the wall, and kicked him out the house.  Her father protected her by avoiding family members and never putting her in the situation again, however, it was never discussed. She was never asked the details of what happened.  Her own grandmother to this day refuses to believe the story.

Years later, Jackee viewed sex with shame. She recalls her first voluntary sexual experience and learning she was not a virgin. It was a devastating experience because it confirmed to her that at the tender age of five years old, Jackee was in fact raped by her uncle. In the U.S he would still be prosecutable. In Belize I am not sure how a victim can reclaim her power over her perpetrator.  We do not know if he is a child predator today. We do not know what deviancy continues to linger within him. He represents one of maybe hundreds of deviants walking around.  What became of this troubled young man?  He became a respected and published author who places himself in Jackee’s home as a teenager in his book. I perused his Facebook page and saw one picture with a young child in bathing suit. It concerns me when I see such predators in positions of trust around children.

Most children are resilient and many block such traumatic experiences.  Jackie I am sure completely pushed her abuse into the back of her mind.  It is the resiliency and survivorship of the human spirit that allows us to function in the face of very distressing experiences in our lives.  It is this spirit that Jackie carries within her as she is introduced to another type of predator, a predator that is violent, deadly and unforgiving.

Jackee decided to pursue a career in teaching. At the age of 21 years old, Jackee was now living in Corozal and was a popular teacher and enjoying her career.  On October 13, 2000 she met Peter Augustine for the first time. Peter Augustine was a well-known criminal and was only released from prison a week before.

In Jackee’s own words:

“I never knew Peter Augustine before, never even seen him ever. I lived in Corozal and was a very popular high school teacher at Corozal Community.  This was my forth year up there. I had a sweet lil house and prior to this year I had always had roommates.  Anyway, the morning of October 13, 2000, I got up and did some laundry. I got up around 5:30am. By 6:30 I went to the back door to put out the clothes. I had a bucket on the side porch.  I was pinning out one piece at a time and returning to the bucket for every new piece of clothing.  I wasn’t there very long and the back door near where I stood was ajar.

It seems that Peter Augustine hopped over the verandah and went inside when my back was turned.  When I went inside, he approached me. At first, I thought I was imagining him. I could not understand why a stranger was in my house.  I screamed and he placed a knife at my throat. I told him he could take whatever he wanted, just please don’t hurt me.  He didn’t answer me.  He started to pull me towards the bedroom and I understood what his intentions were.  I started to fight him, I bit him. I got cut in my hand as I held on to the knife fighting him. He punched me on my left cheek and I still continued to fight. He choked me by placing his thumbs on my neck. I started to lose consciousness and I eventually saw black and passed out.

When I woke up it was to the sound of my bed sheets being torn. He used it to tie my hands behind my back and blindfold me.  At this time I was having my period and that didn’t stop him.  He got on top of me and was having sex with me.  Even though I was blind folded, I saw a nipple ring on him. I disassociated from what was happening to me. I felt like I was watching him doing this to someone else. I mentally blocked out what was happening to me.  I believed he was in my home for about an hour.  When he was through, he took my jewelry. I thought he was going to kill me.   A student who lived behind my house came to the door and called my name repeatedly.  She saw my bathroom lights on and thought I was in the shower.  I pretended to be passed out so that he would not find it necessary to kill me. I heard the footsteps on the ground, he unlocked my door, which he had to have locked and he left.  When I was sure he was gone, I went to the front door with my hands still tied behind my back.  I had to open the door with my hands tied, I shouted to the student to run and I ran to my neighbor, an old couple in only t-shirts and they called the police.

Peter Augustine was arrested a few minutes after I arrived at the hospital in possession of my jewelry, with the bite mark on his shoulder and my blood all over him. My face was badly beaten and even today it still hurts. My lip has a permanent scar.”

Unfortunately, Jackee’s horrifying experience does not end there.  She relocated to her hometown of Belmopan.  A year later, she had to endure the criminal trial, which was done publicly.  She had to recount her story to a packed courtroom. She was crossed examined by the defendant. She said every time he said her name, she hated him more. She had to recount her entire sexual history in front of curious strangers; she also had to reveal her physical address to the court and defendant.  She was emotionally distraught by the entire ordeal.  She could not bear to stay for the outcome of the trial and later learned he was given 15 years in prison.  He only has three more years left on his 15 year sentence.

Peter Augustine escaped from prison after his incarceration which caused Jackee to fall to pieces because her address was publicly announced in the court case.   Peter Augustine was eventually recaptured in a village near Chetumal.  In that same village a girl was found raped and murdered however, he was never connected to the crime even though he was the only stranger in the village at the time.  There are no denying Jackee lives in fear knowing Peter Augustine will be released in three short years.  She says he gloats to people about raping a teacher and is rumored to have sodomized his cell mate in prison.

Jackee wants other victims to know that there is nothing wrong with them and they will survive.  It took Jackee a while to overcome her abuse and confront it.  She speaks to her students and tries to formulate support groups for rape victims but notes most people want to forget and move on. She sits with numerous rape victims who confide their pain in her.  One girl confided in her that she hated Christmas because she must associate with the men in her family that raped her.  Jackee welcomes anyone who wishes to discuss their personal pain with her.

There are many people who remain uncomfortable with this subject.  Jackee urges parents to speak openly to kids about sex. Teach them good and bad touches. Be a source for your children to run to. However it doesn’t end there. Our system must find a better way to protect the citizens of Belize. There must be a sexual predator website that tracks these predators when they are unleashed back into society.  Victims must be accommodated to tell their story. Their addressese should remain confidential. Our society must remove the shame placed on victims and reassign the shame to the perpetrator.  Our society need to start seriously monitoring men dating children under 18 years of age, even communities who have traditionalized pedophilia.

We must create a safe society for all our citizens especially our children and we must develop a social conscience and be protectors.  How can anyone ever truly claim to be a survivor when the society keeps people in victim status?  Unfortunately I was unable to find a picture of Peter Augustine, but be very uneasy that in three years a violent predator will be released back into society and there is no law stopping it and no picture to show you who he is!

Jackee’s Poems:


He wrote about a time

I had long since buried

Six feet under

My sad horrific memories

His writing exumed

Buried memories

From the depths of hell

Where I thought

They coud never be dug up

But he resurrected

The stomach churning evil

That he did to me

He lifted my skirt

When I was a baby

And spoke adult language

To my innocent mind

In his dirty nasty language

Making his ugly body

Reveal itself

To my horrified eyes

His breath insulted my cheek

His smell chafed my stomach

His touch burnt my skin

How could this man be my kin

He hushed my objections

And covered my frightened eyes

With his huge hands

That covered my entire face

He ripped away

The pure white lace

And tore me to shreds

Now he is that monster

That vile monster

Who I cannot even

Look in the face

And now he dare writes

With enthusiasm and fun

About a time when

He lived in my daddie’s home

As if he does not recall

The ghastly deeds

He has done

I hate him

I have buried him

And I dont want him

Anywhere around me


Unwanted and uninvited

Bang! Bang!

The judge registered

Finality with his gavel

Pounding the end

Of the hearing i had to endure

15 years he got

15 years of free food

A guaranteed bed

He doesnt have to worry

His stomach will be fed

While I, his victim

Am traumatized and haunted

With a lifetime of nightmares

A lifetime of him

Haunting my days and my nights

Coming into my home

Unwanted and uninvited

Icy cold stares

In his strange eyes

Told me his temptations

And as my piercing scream

Eminated in goosebumps

All over my skin

And registered the

Metal blade

He palced at my throbbing throat

I saw my life

In flashes in front of

My scared eyes

Yes, I fought him

I sunk my teeth

In his steel muscles

And with all my fear

I bit in wid all my life

But he retaliated

And I saw stars

And felt the trickle

Of sticky blood ooze

Before darkness crept

Over me and wrapped me

In its tight bondage

Then gone I was

From my conscious self

As he invaded me

Entering unwanted and uninvited

I took back myself

I took back my power

And said he cannot

Have any part of me

That I am unwilling to offer

So as he entered flesh

In and out

My mind shut him out

Though I felt emotional distate

I looked from afar

As he hurt a body

But could not touch a soul


“Belize ”Boosts” School Attendance and Access to Financial Services for the Poor” : The World Bank

The deal is simple: vaccinate your children, send them to school; and, if you are pregnant, visit your public health center, regularly starting with the first 12 weeks. In exchange, the BOOST Program will give you a monthly allowance between BZ$44 and BZ$82 (US$22 – US$41) per person, up to a maximum of six per household.

The BOOST program, which stands for Building Opportunities for Our Social Transformation, provides small cash assistance to poor households subject to specific conditions.

A little over a year in operation, it already reaches 3,177 households (12.5% of all Belize poor households) and over 8,600 people, which represents about 6% of the poor population.

Despite the recent launch of the BOOST Program (February 2011), some of its current features already match or surpass best practices in the world. Recorded school attendance for children included in the program is at 97.3% (3238 of 3328 students, May 2012).

Thanks to this program, Rosario Chub from Punta Gorda, Toledo, is able to provide for the basic needs of her children and keep them in school.  “The Program is good. It is helping people. I am doing a lot with this little money. Now the children have shoes, food and uniforms.”

The program has also been positively received among school principals. Rossana Briceño, principal of St Peter’s Anglican School in Orange Walk, said that “at the end of the day, the kids are doing better.  Absenteeism is a lot less, and I see these children now and they want to come to school.”

I am doing a lot with this little money. Now the children have shoes, food and uniforms.

Rosario  Chub BOOST beneficiary

The program features a differentiated payment structure by grade and gender, to address relatively high drop-out rates for boys. These are added incentives to complete standard grades and advance into secondary education.

Access to bank services

The BOOST Program is also supporting poor households in accessing financial services, such as savings and micro-loans as a first step towards their financial independence.

BOOST is expanding membership of credit unions, and strengthening the savings and productive investment potential of beneficiary households. At present, 81% of the program beneficiaries receive safe, secure transfers at zero cost through the credit unions.

“I am now a member of the credit union and I want to start saving money for the children”, says Rosario Chub, who, like other beneficiaries, has also increased her access to saving and other financial services.

“The BOOST Program has achieved a level of financial inclusion of program beneficiaries that far exceeds similar programs that have been in operation for 15 years”,  said Rogelio Gomez Hermosillo, the former Director of the Oportunidades Program in Mexico, which reaches 30 million households.

In fact, a new report by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) finds a much higher rate of beneficiaries with access to bank services in BOOST than in the two largest conditional cash transfer programs in the region, at 43% in Brazil and 25% in Mexico.

The first step of a larger movement

For the past two years, the World Bank has provided technical assistance to support the design of the BOOST Program, including knowledge exchanges with conditional cash transfer experts from Jamaica and Mexico.

The new phase of technical assistance aims to provide flexible support to address the central operational challenges of the Program and make recommendations on different approaches to strengthen program operations.

“The BOOST Program represents a significant step forward to develop a smart social safety net that promotes human capital growth, savings, and productive investments by poor households, but it is only the first step of a larger movement that is needed to strengthen the quality and accountability of social spending in Belize,” says Sarah Berger Gonzalez, World Bank Social Protection Specialist.

Despite the advances, operational challenges remain, resulting from the rapid ramp-up, limited financing and small number of program personnel. Limited financial envelopes have resulted in the number of qualified, eligible households exceeding enrolment by 30%.

Other challenges include the need to strengthen communication of program objectives and responsibilities, coordination of actions across ministries, and monitoring of information to assess program impacts.


Here is a discussion of the program when the PM was interviewed by Twocanview.

Help Twocanview Help Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow Help Our Children With Special Needs

A  group of Belizean children is finally getting the attention and support it so desperately needs and truly deserves. They are the ones we may stare at, feel pity for but look away, they are our children with special needs. They may be deaf, blind, physically handicapped but they want to play and learn and become contributing members of society like we all do. In an effort to address their needs, The Special Envoy of Belize, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is heading an effort to build a center where they can come to receive the support and learn skills which will help them to become independent and self sufficient. Take a look at the following video to see some of the children we would be helping:

Please be a part of this wonderful fundraising event. There are many ways you can donate:

Help Children with Special Needs

Click this link to donate!!!!!!!!!!

For more information, check out the Special Envoy of Belize’s Facebook Page:

Phillip James Tremblay: “What a Day” Album Release Date June 28th, 2012

Phillip James Tremblay

Phil from the memories of your cousin Aria:

I would like to introduce you to my “little” cousin Phillip James Tremblay. Phillip is the son of my Mother’s younger sister, Ethel. His mother is Belizean and father is French Canadian. He is one of my youngest cousins and as a kid, he was extremely competitive. He did not like losing. In fact I remember we would play Chinese Checkers, a game my grand parents passed down to all of us grandkids, and he would beat me every time we played (or so he thought!).

My memories of visiting Canada is filled with great memories of hanging out with my cousins. Phil, the baby, is deathly allergic to milk and all milk products and asthmatic. We were taught to separate all our food products from his as kids. He could not rough house with the kids at times when his asthma was acting up. As a very young child he had to be responsible for his own health. He had to learn to ask about food products and be careful what he ate and he even knew when to take his asthma treatments. He spent many days in the hospital because of close calls with his allergies. I also remember my aunt saying she would want to live in Belize if it wasnt for his allergies. As many deep talented artist, Phil experienced personal pain and tragedy at a very young age.

In 1992 my aunt’s Cancer recurred after being in remission for about two years and in 1993 my aunt lost her battle to breast cancer on Mother’s Day. Phil was only about 9 years old at the time. I remember when my aunt was sick, she told me once that she felt Phil could relate to her the most because of all the days he spent in the hospital being prodded with needles. Phil wrote a song in memory of my aunt that still touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. I did not even realize the level of his artistic talent. He can draw, sing, write music, produce. He has definitely been blessed with many talents and his soul is deeply entwined in his music. Phil released his first album on 2.2.2011 called Intropection as an Independent artist. My favorite song “Mom” can be bought on Itunes and several other sites. Phil’s website is : Please be sure to visit it. Also here is my favourite song: MOM

On June 28th, 2012 Phil will debut his new album called: ” What a day”. I ask you to support my cousin in his venture as an independent artist.

Here is Phil’s story:

My name is Phillip James Tremblay(PJT) and I am a producer, writer, singer, rapper, engineer, graphic designer, programmer, performer, actor, director, painter, sculpter, sketch artist, athlete and mental health worker. I was born and raised in Ontario, Canada and I am currently 28 years old.

My style of music is a unique blend of pop/hip-hop with hints of every other genre. An interest in making music came late in my life – roughly at age 18. Approx. one decade later – after substantial self-teaching, personal development, and learning from various famous and underground musicians – my debut album is NOW available, and it compromises a compilation of songs over the last 4 years. Those 4 years also mark a time of significant personal life changes.
A devastating epiphany that my life – course and identity – was not my own, struck me with an unprecedented demand for starting over. I needed to undo the people-pleasing, self-denying, beliefs I forced on myself (and sometimes on others), and learn how to have a personal connection with my choices. Though I lived like it, I was never fully convinced of my own genuineness. Now, I finally have that surety. If this is your first encounter of me as a musician and/or a person, your timing is perfect.

Great Opportunity for a Belizean Journalist! Please share!

Commonwealth News Internship

Location: London, UK Duration: September 2012 to January 2013 (approximately 5 months) Closing Date: 9  Jul  2012

The Communications and Public Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat is seeking a young journalist from one of the following countries in Europe or the Americas to undertake an approximate five month attachment with the Secretariat in London from September 2012 to January 2013. The candidate must be a citizen of one of the following countries:

· Belize

· Canada

· Cyprus

· Guyana

· Malta

· United Kingdom

The attachment provides an opportunity to gain work experience and training in the production and dissemination of written articles for our websites and publications, social media platforms, general publicity materials and our e-mail news bulletin, Commonwealth News. The internship is rotated among the regions of the Commonwealth every 5-6 months.


1. The candidate should:

· be under 35 years of age;

· be a journalist with between three and five years experience working with an English-language newspaper, news agency or national information agency. Recent graduates in journalism or a related discipline, who have less than three years experience but show promise and ability as a news or features writer, will also be considered;

· have experience of using social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter;

· be computer literate, including experience using Microsoft Word and database and e-mailing software;

· preferably have a knowledge of the Commonwealth and of development issues; and

· preferably have lived in or visited a developing Commonwealth country.

The Attachment:

The successful candidate will be working at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London and will be paid an allowance to cover expenses. This includes a fixed monthly allowance to cover accommodation and a fixed daily allowance for living expenses. The total allowance amounts to approximately £1,800 per month (before taxes and deductions). A return air ticket (economy class) will be provided, as will additional reimbursements for some transportation and short-term accommodation expenses and visa costs.

If the successful candidate is in full-time employment, his or her employer will be requested to provide a guarantee that the candidate will be able to return to his/her job after the attachment is completed. While working at the Secretariat, the intern will have the opportunity to report on Commonwealth events for their news organisation, after having fulfilled his/her daily duties as required by the internship.

How to apply:

A résumé, covering letter (including full address, country of citizenship and contact details), and a copy of your passport page featuring your photo should be sent via e-mail to the Online Editor at no later than Monday, 9 July 2012 (1700GMT).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to write an assessment and provide samples of their published writing. The final stage will be a phone interview.

Link to website:


News Intern Job Description Sept 2012 to Jan 2013

A victim relates to Jasmine Lowe : Reprinted with the permission of Marisa Alamilla

Marisa Alamilla

 Just musing Belize………..

As I sit to write my article … I just could not get the images of this beautiful little girl out my head.  I am to write about a far more casual topic but thought that it was more important to weigh in on what is going on in our beautiful country.  Jasmine Lowe has become the face and name of a people who are absolutely fed up with crime. She is not the first child to have died by no means of a violent crime but at a time when we have been screaming for an end to the violence, at a time when it has become like one a day vitamins, at a time when mothers weep and a country is lost it seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.


I grew up in a Belize where we felt safe to play, where our children could play in the drains in the rain, where they could be left to enjoy a little thing called “freedom”. Gone are these days!  Not today, yesterday, the last few weeks or months but for some years now. As I listen to the public at large screaming for justice and screaming for an end to violence I wonder how many of them have really sat down and soaked it all in, soaked in the stench that has been building from their inaction, their lack of parenting, their lack of will to make everyone accountable or for their short memories.


In 1998 I was a victim of crime awaken at the wee hours of the morning from my sleep by an intruder into my home that was built to protect me. Burglar bars and dead bolts on all the doors and windows.   I remember thinking in the first instance “how did he get in?” to be followed quickly by “how will I get away? What does he want and then more importantly “will he kill me?”  The sharp knife he held in his hand glistened as he made it clear that he had every intention to use it if I did not do as he said. I remember looking around my room thinking of ways to get away it seemed so impossible paralyzed by fear he seemed so huge in my eyes, standing at over 6’ and 190 lbs. His crazy yet focused eyes made me beg and plead for my life but to no avail. After a fight that seem to last for hours and being badly beaten and raped, he made be take a bath saying that I will wash the evidence off me. I remember clearly trying to preserve the evidence by trying not to let the water hit all the parts of my battered body that I thought might have some evidence of his presence.  I remember thinking that even if he carried through on his promise to cut my throat that the police would be able to catch him. I was so disillusioned then. I know now that had I not lived and had I not been strong enough to pursue him and ensure he was captured and arrested and see this through to the bitter end he would be walking amongst us, free to do what he did to me to so many other women.  I remember his mother threatening me and visiting my home and screaming at my windows that if I continued to pursue this in court she would have one of her other sons finish the job. I remember one police officer telling me to ignore the threats because if I returned threats I could be arrested for verbal assault. Go figure!


I say that to say this. It took two years after this to bring him this young man of 19 years to court and that was not an easy thing to do. At times I felt alone, tired, abandoned, and disheartened by the entire process. I never felt once that the system was on my side. I always felt that I was fighting to win and fighting to get justice. It was not easy not ever.  His defense attorney tried everything to get him acquitted and if I was not the woman I am he would be a free man today.


Every week women and children are assaulted in Belize. Most never make the news because most never get reported. Many women and children feel ashamed and broken by this act of violence and feel as if they lack the strength to handle being persecuted after they have been denigrated in this manner.  In this case little Jasmine died. As a country we are hurt and feel some disdain for her alleged killer. I cautiously warn Belize, not to feel comfortable that he has been caught that is just a small tiny step towards justice.  Justice is long and drawn out road and the onus of responsibility to prove him guilty is on the country. He is presumed innocent.  We are a country high on crime because our social decay and our smart lawyers have gotten us here. One case will not save us as much as I know it may feel that way now.


As I watch the mob and their cries for justice I think “how little they know of how difficult it is to gain that little word”. It takes commitment on many levels and their cries will not affect the ruling of the court if the wealth of evidence is not there to carry the charge. Our people are so distraught and so tired of watching our children die in such senseless and meaningless ways that we fail to realize we have so many alive that we still need to save. Our actions are being looked upon. How we carry ourselves and what we say and do is being absorbed by the little eyes and ears around us. Violence begets violence. We need to aspire for higher ground and I know it’s not easy I was there but I know it’s not impossible. I have nothing against the death penalty just abide by the law that’s what we want to teach our children to do and therefore we must teach by example.

I am a passionate and emotional woman! It’s who I am. I understand rage, I understand the want for revenge, I understand the want for blood because that is what I felt for many years. I also understand the need for true justice, for calmer heads, for good example.  All I am saying Belize is two wrongs won’t make a right! If he is guilty then we must put our energies into ensuring that the system is brought to the highest standards, that we hold each and every one accountable for its failure and that we begin to search ourselves for where we might have added to the demise of our country.  Don’t be fooled where we are today as a society is the direct result of past and present action, whether it was our selfishness by not being our brother’s keeper, by not treating others with the same love and respect we would want to dealt, by turning a blind eye, by our ignorance or our irresponsibility. We played a role in the demise and destruction of our country. Own it! It belongs to each and every one of us.  Change it today, it’s not too late and our children are depending on us to do so!