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Mar 5, 2018

Belizeans Vent Rage at Battlefield Park

The death of the Baby Alyssa has sparked outrage across the country, some impromptu and others organized protests have held since the weekend. This morning before Everal Martinez was brought for arraignment, Belizeans came out in front of the Magistrate Court to make a statement that abuse against children cannot be countenanced in any shape or form. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from downtown Belize City.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Tension outside of Magistrate Court Number Two this morning was palpable.  Dozens of angry protestors, including Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow, braved the sweltering heat at Battlefield Park.  Surrounded by a team of officers from various branches of law enforcement, they were all kept at bay behind a caution tape facing the Supreme Court Building.  It did not stop them from demonstrating and expressing utter disgust.


Mark Reneau

Mark Reneau, Protestor

“I have a seventeen-month-old daughter, if something like this should happen to her, I don’t know what I would do.  I don’t know this person but trust everybody don’t know somebody should be for somebody or for something and I really and truly support this family, from the bottom down.  I closed my business down today just to come and support them, you understand me.  This is uncalled for.  This is injustice, this is unruly.  We need to change our system, we need to do something.  The kids are our future and if we keep up like this we won’t have a future, straight up, you understand me.”


Echoing that sentiment, Simplis-Barrow also reiterates the point that parents need to be more attentive where it concerns the wellbeing of children.  Granted the mother, in this case, was at work at the time the incident allegedly took place, there’s a call, nonetheless, for parents to remain watchful.


Kim Simplis-Barrow

Kim Simplis-Barrow, Special Envoy for Women & Children

“Our mothers have to be more vigilant when it comes to our girls and our boys.  This has been happening for years, but we have given voice to these issues, that’s why this is happening, that’s why we know about this today, because our doctors are finally calling it what it is and they are reporting it.  How many of our children have died like this and we didn’t know why.”


On Sunday, upon leaving the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, the family of Baby Allyssa staged an impromptu demonstration that culminated at this very location.


Terrence Nunez

Terrence Nunez, Father of Deceased

“I just want to tell everybody who mi always di message me, who is always on my wall, who di like, who di put di sad face, who di put all di emojis – come out!! Da bout three hundred and odd ah unu.  Ah di look forward fu sih unu.  So one like, one emoji noh wahn change what is happening in society.  I watched while my baby was in there, I watched other shooting victims, wi have to watch di crimes, we have to watch it.  I saw the baby when the mother brought the kid who got shot in the feet.  Mein that’s sad mein.”


That call to arms took place in larger numbers today.


Rhonda Sutherland

Rhonda Sutherland, Protestor

“I feel like this is really, really wrong right now and we just need justice for Allyssa, not only for Allyssa but for all the other kids and everything and we are fighting for justice for her.  I feel this really hurts me mein because I have kids and this really breaks my heart when I hyah bout this, so we deh out ya di fight fi justice.”


Activist Jose Luis Espat was among the protestors who came out this morning.  Prior to a failed attempt at blocking vehicular traffic on the Swing Bridge, he spoke with News Five.


Jose Luis Espat

Jose Luis Espat, Social Activist

“I believe that every single person that is out here is out here because this is the straw that broke the camel’s back in this nation, with all the corruption that’s happening.  If we accept this and if we do not stand and every single person in this nation does not stand against this and don’t stop until justice is served.  And I am not speaking about revenge, I am speaking about justice, there is a big difference, then we are setting a precedence that we will allow this to keep going on and that our children will be abused and nothing will come out of it.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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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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