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Feb 5, 2018

Maya march for justice in South

A Bella Vista man has been arrested and charged with the heinous murders of two sisters: Cricencia and Jospehine Oh from the village of San Antonio in southern Belize. The hacked and nude bodies of the two siblings were found on January twenty-first and days later, police charged twenty-year old Wilmer Escobar, a man with a long list of run-ins with the law.   With emotions running high and to bring some ease to the shattered Maya community, over the weekend, a protest was held in their village. The response from the community was overwhelming as residents turned out in numbers calling for justice. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Pastor Benjamin Bolon

Pastor Benjamin Bolon

“Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near, do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer, by patience, thanksgiving, present your request to God and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The coming together of the Maya community, a convergence of villagers across Toledo District, is a profound show of solidarity.  They are all gathered here in San Jose, where a most terrible misfortune befell the Oh family on January twenty-first.  Siblings Cricencia and Josephine were found butchered to death where these two crosses have now been erected.

 

Theodoro Oh, Father of Slain Sisters

[Nat Sounds]

Despite the arrest and subsequent arraignment of twenty-year-old Wilmur Escobar for the horrific chopping incident, the matter is still far from being resolved.  Escobar is yet to be put on trial and convicted of the vicious double murders.  The legacy of these thirty-nine communities as peaceful and collective is of utmost importance.

 

Oscar Requeña, Area Representative, Toledo West

Oscar Requeña

“Our communities need to work together.  When we work together there isn’t anything, whether it is crime, whether it is any negative activity that can infiltrate our community if we join hands and we work together.  I believe that the alcaldes play a very important role and that is why I want to congratulate the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association, particularly for carrying out workshops and training for our alcaldes in understanding their roles and how they can work to safeguard our communities and ensuring that justice is served in our communities.”

 

The peaceful gathering at San Luis Rey R.C. School in San Antonio is a Walk for Justice.  As part of the wider Belizean demography, they too are affected by crime and violence.

 

Pulcheria Teul, Presenter

Pulcheria Teul

“The Walk for Justice is intended to call on all authorities: the police department, the alcades association, the village council association, to ensure that peace and safety is kept in our communities.  The murder of our sisters Cricencia and Josefina Oh should not go down as another number on signed statistics.  It is important to understand that we live in changing times, hence our traditional safeguarding practices must be strengthened to counter all acts of violence that may create instability in our communities.  This Walk for Justice, and I have to really call out Juan Bol and Maya Choc.  This event was called out by this young man, he felt that it was necessary for us to come together and denounce this act of violence.  I am so proud and happy for you Juan that you came up and you decided to pray”

 

Speaking before the gathering was Froyla Tzalam, Executive Director of the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM.

 

Froyla Tzalam

Froyla Tzalam, Executive Director, SATIIM

“I have hope that we as individuals and communities can change this growing crime rate and all that it represents.  That is why I am so proud of the organizing committee, young Bol from San Jose who said I cannot allow my community’s name to be dragged through the mud, we are not those people.  Maya Ch’oc who has a passion that something has to be done, we cannot continue like this.  And for Ms. Pulcheria Teul.  She calls herself the grandmother.  She is an elder and so to my mind, this committee was an example of how the elders are teaching the younger ones how to mobilize.”

 

Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

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1 Response for “Maya march for justice in South”

  1. Marwaione says:

    I can’t imagine your grief, but I hope Escobar rots in jail.

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