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Jan 23, 2018

Down South, Alcaldes Pressure Authorities in Gruesome Double Murder

The barbarity of a pair of machete murders in the village of San Jose, Toledo District, has sent shockwaves across the Maya community.  This act of savagery, the mutilation of teenage siblings Cricencia and Josephine Oh, are uncommon in this part of the country, as the area is widely known to be quiet and calm.  The sisters, ages nineteen and sixteen, respectively, left their homes in San Antonio on Sunday en route to nearby San Jose, where they would attend a church service and visit with an older brother.  It was during the outing that they met with a most gruesome end.  The deadly chopping incident has incensed members of the indigenous community, including the Toledo Alcalde Association.  Earlier today, a press release was issued condemning the heinous killings and calling for a complete investigation to be carried out by the Belize Police Department.  While the association acknowledges that such an inquiry falls outside of the legal authority of the alcalde system, its membership is still being called upon to assist in any way possible.  News Five spoke via phone with Pablo Mis, program coordinator for the Maya Leaders Alliance.

 

On the phone: Pablo Mis, Program Coordinator, MLA

“The Toledo Alcalde Association, seventy-eight members of the thirty-nine Maya communities, is very concerned of the recent murders of the two sisters of San Antonio.  These types of criminal acts are rare in the Maya communities and when they do happen, they shake the community to its core.  The Toledo Alcalde Association is of the position that the Maya communities have always been peaceful and collective.  So that peace and collectiveness have always existed because each and every member of the Mayan communities have taken on the duty to ensure that we protect each other, that we care for each other and that we care for our community.  The [Toledo] Alcalde Association wants to impress upon all members of the Maya communities to ensure that we continue to express solidarity with each other, that we continue to care for each other and that we are able to give the attention that our children, our sons and daughters, need in this challenging time.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“In respect of the role of the alcaldes, what would you say in terms of the leadership role of the alcalde, for instance, in the communities of San Antonio and San Jose?”

 

On the phone: Pablo Mis

“The alcaldes play a very important role in maintaining peace and order, in maintaining harmony in the communities.  We certainly are aware that this type of crime is beyond the jurisdiction of the alcalde, but the alcalde has a role in terms of ensuring that the community is aware of what’s happening, that the community cooperates and collaborates with the relevant authorities to ensure that all the necessary information is put on the table so that the perpetrators can be brought forward and that they can be taken before the law.  Beyond that, the alcaldes, as well, play a fundamental role in ensuring that these crimes do not begin in the first instance.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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