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May 23, 2012

School marches for Peace after 11 year old Daniel Matura is murdered

In the vicious cycle of violence, the shocking murder of eleven year old Daniel Matura has numbed the community. This morning a march was organized by his school. The numbers were small but the message was powerful from those who are feeling the pain of the urban warfare. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

“We di do this fi Daniel and we wah do this fi Daniel.”

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Galvanized by a single cause; the Muslim Community Primary School staged a peaceful demonstration this morning crying for peace in the streets of the old capital. Students, bearing placards with messages for a call to end the violence, chanted as they walked a route where many have fallen victims to gun warfare. For this one school, the bloodshed hit home when little eleven year old Daniel Matura was gunned down on these very same streets, just two days ago. Principal, Lana Ahmad says it’s time for serious measures to be implemented:

 

Lana Ahmad

Lana Ahmad, Principal, Muslim Community Primary School

“As a school, as a community we are not tolerant of what is happening in the society, with the crime and violence. We have lost one of our own, one of your children, one of our young student who had every potential to be a productive member of this society. I am in support of our legal system and what is on the books already. When a person takes another person life, there is a penalty. I am sorry there are people who don’t go with the death penalty, we are all for it because if you can take my child’s life, you do not deserve to live. That is how we feel. It might sound barbaric but if you check your very bible, it is in there and our very holy book says the same thing. We do not condone killing but we do not accept that it should just go like that. So the message is that we want a peaceful society and let us live in peace and create a society where our children can feel free to walk; they fear for their lives and this is not fair for children, they should feel free and safe.”

 

Zakiyah Sacasa

Daniel Matura Junior had dreams of being a B.D.F. Soldier one day; just a few days ago he was one of the two hundred plus students at his school. But the question is, how many more will have to suffer the same fate like he did?

 

Zakiyah Sacasa, Student, Muslim primary School

“Stop the violence now and stop the killing and the fighting because when people dead yuh just wah ketch wah heart attack and yuh hear some gun shots and suh that’s why I nuh like when people shoot because you wah feel just bad fi deh and yuh just wah cry, cry, cry, once somebody thing.”

 

Leticia Gomez, Teacher, Muslim Community Primary School

Leticia Gomez

“I am looking on some of these children as the Prime Minister of this country; lawyers and doctors because they have bright futures. The chances that they have now, I didn’t have at that time but they’re being cut off. An eleven year old to be dead at this time,  to be mourning a child that I can look upon and see something good in him. I think that the entire country of Belize needs to get down and shut down this country then, if so be the case shut it down and mek something positive happen.”

 

Brittney Daley

Brittney Daley, Student Muslim Primary School

“I di give love and it’s not nice when Daniel died. They shoot him by accident and deh neva mean fi shoot him but we have to stop the killing and the fighting and give love each one another.”

 

Rallying behind the school are Excelsior High School, community activists and concerned citizens. They are ‘fed up’ with the violence and say there must be concerted collaborative efforts by all the stakeholders:

 

Annie Palacio, Concerned Belizean

Annie Palacio

“It’s the poor people who need most of the help, you know and we can get it done but the powers that be will not let it be. We have to come together as a community and understand that this is all of our problems; not the government; not Daniel’s mom; not the Matura family; it’s all of us; we all suffer.”

 

Emmanuel Berges

Emmanuel Berges, Concerned Belizean

“We all are fed up of the situation because we can see this thing repeatedly happening so we want to ask the government, or the leaders in the cabinet to sit down and come up with a comprehensive plan that make us come up with little better than this. The morning the killing happen I mi supposed to see some BDF out here and there was no B.D.F.”

 

Amina Segura, Muslim Community

Amina Segura

“We are tired of our children being shot in the streets and basically, we are saying no and saying that this is the first step and after this we are going to take our country back.”

 

Yolanda Schakron

Yolanda Schakron, Community Activist

“When we see our children dying and being cut down like this, it is a serious situation and we need to sit down and put politics aside, both red and blue and do this as Belizeans; one people.”

 

Ian Mariano, Teacher, Excelsior High School

“First of all, we work as Sister Schools and because we are of the same neighbourhood, when one catches a cold then I guess the other one is affected and we know that it just a matter of time if things keep going at the rate that it does, that Excelsior will be affected by the violence so we need to make a stance and show our support.”

 

Abdul Nunez

And while the initiative had less than four hundred marching, the demonstrators say they believe that the power lies in the message and not the numbers:

 

Abdul Nunez, Muslim Community

“I am flabbergasted and personally proud and I am sure that the teachers coordinating and participating in the event are also proud of the turnout today.”

 

Ian Mariano

Ian Mariano

“Just as one bullet makes a difference and in this case it’s three and that all the lives that are out here representative of some group, some family, so we are satisfied with what we are doing and we just want to encourage everybody to stop the violence.”

 

Lana Ahmad

“I don’t think that numbers make a difference because we have seen massive marches and nothing comes out of it after it passes. It is not so much the numbers but the message; we are trying to plant some seeds. You can do it Port Loyola; you can do it Belize City Southside because there are beautiful people in this Southside area.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Andrea Polanco.

 

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6 Responses for “School marches for Peace after 11 year old Daniel Matura is murdered”

  1. Rod says:

    Worthless useless pm and gov.

  2. blackberry says:

    Beware no not let the muslims wake up as they are doing in the middle east and east africa.
    i heard that tone today.

  3. Vanna says:

    I agree with the principal,we need the death penalty,all this is getting out of hand

  4. now i see says:

    You and i know that nothing will happen. We need something more powerfull. More innocent kids and adults will die. Parents dont let your kids go on the street. Dad’s make sure you pay your mantanance to the court you no want your kid be next.

  5. L.C. says:

    @blackberry: Wow. That’s all I can say to and about you. It’s people like you that give the rest of us a bad name. The same way Osama Bin Laden put a stereotype on all Muslims/people of Middle Eastern descent. You’re doing the exact same thing.

  6. Storm says:

    Parents should be marching and organising to defend their communities, not the students and other children.

    Few of our police formations are competent or powerful enough to secure their communities. But it is the security of the individual citizens and their children that is threatened, and they should organise block by block, barrio by barrio, to patrol them and keep the public eye on the bad actors among them.

    I’ve said it before here — I recommend any concerned citizen check out guardianangels.org and see how that group has helped form and train citizen defenders in cities all over the Americas.

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