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Jun 19, 2012

K.H.M.H. staff protest on streets for slain doctor

Another person is in detention in the ongoing investigation into the murder of the affable Dr. Ivan Garcia. Police have detained and are questioning one man known to the doctor. Garcia’s car, a Geo Prism, was recovered by the police on D Street, in the King’s Park Area on Monday night. The Guatemalan doctor was last seen alive on Sunday and was found strangled to death at his Belama Phase Two house by his domestic helper at seven-thirty on Monday morning. Police could not detect any forced entry into his house where he lived alone. Health professionals of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital are shaken up by his murder and have lashed out against the state of crime. Following a wake on Monday night, they came out in numbers to protest crime today. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Medical practitioners along with members of the community marched from the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital and onto Princess Margaret Drive and around the round-a-bout at twelve noon, today. While they were donned in their uniforms, they weren’t carrying stethoscopes or thermometers, but placards bearing messages for a call for peace. While the demonstration had an almost somber mood, the message was resounding.

 

James Onoja

Dr. James Onoja, Accident & Emergency, K.H.M.H

“The message is loud and clear; we need as a people and as a country to stop this spate of violence because violence is an ill wind that blows nobody any good and if we don’t stop it, it could become our own tsunami.”

 

Reverend Mary Martin, Catch the Vision Ministry

“I stand in solidarity with them; we all should. It is beyond tradition; beyond borders, we are all in this together.”

 

Andrea Polanco

Reverend Mary Martin

“What’s your one message that you’d like to get out today?”

 

Reverend Mary Martin

“My sign says, ‘In my tradition thou shall not be a victim; thou shall not be a perpetrator; thou shall not be a bystander.’”

 

Emerson Mungia

Dr. Emerson Mungia, Accidents & Emergency, K.H.M.H

“Belize is a small country with a nice culture; a rich culture. Now with this demonstration, we want to show that we don’t want more violence. We have to remove the root of the violence. The government, the society; we have to work hard to stop this big amount of crime that we are having everyday without reason.”

 

The peaceful protest comes hot on the heels of the murder of Dr. Ivan Garcia Gomez, who was a member of the K.H.M.H’s Accident and Emergency Department for nine years. On Monday, the news of his brutal death was a shock for the medical fraternity. Galvanized by a common loss, the demonstrators say they hope their actions resonate the country’s sentiments on the escalating levels of crime; one that doctors and nurses have come to know all too well.

 

Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services, K.H.M.H

Adrian Coye

“We are mourning, first of all, the loss of colleague and also we are mourning for our country in the sense of all the violence that we are daily dealing. We know it most because we see the patients’ everyday and we see people at their lowest points. We are truly concerned for our country and we would really like to do our part in sharing the voice of others who have the pain of the suffering of their loss ones.”

 

Alain Gonzalez

Dr. Alain Gonzalez, Accident & Emergency, K.H.M.H

“Dr. Garcia was one of my very, very good friends. We used to always have a close relationship and in the emergency we used to work very close together. We were the front line for the Belizean public when it came to health, violence, all the gun shots, all the car accidents, all the persons with seizures, all the pregnant females; you name it and we saw it in the emergency. It is just sad to see that our colleague, Dr. Garcia, passed away in such a brutal manner.”

 

And while over the years, massive rallies and protests of all kinds have been held to call for peace, have they really changed anything? Well, the protestors hope their call for an end to violence will not fall on deaf ears.

 

Dr. James Onoja

“It is my hope and prayer that one and all will listen and heed the call for our common good.”

 

Adrian Coye

“The fact that you are here with us is a way in which we get the message out and yes, we can be heard. I don’t see why not. I know that there has been many protests and social awareness in the past but this is just our part. We are no different from anyone; we are human. I think that as responsible members of society we must express how unhappy we are and how we would like for things to be better.”

 

John Sosa

After walking the short route, the demonstrators filed into the K.H.M.H for a press briefing. Dr. John Sosa says that a concerted effort is needed to address crime in Belize.

 

Dr. John Sosa, Neurology, B.M.A

“We can start in our own homes, however dysfunctional they may be. Poverty does not excuse us from showing respect and controlling our anger against our own families. We must also watch what we see on TV; violent imagery is not a good thing, even on the nightly news.  Our government must be more intelligent in shaping violence prevention programs and we need to find the expertise; if we do not have it in country or somewhere else. We may complain about cost of such expertise but crime and violence is more costly than just the emotional and physical toll; our entire hospital system is over taxed with the numbers of crime victims and criminals coming through the door; that care is expensive. We need more research on what puts people at risk and how to protect them; much has been done but more needs to be done. We have to beef up the resources of the police so as to improve the apprehension and conviction of criminals. It is so much easier for the prosecution if it has the adequate tools to collect and present evidence; Now, it so much easier to go to jail for a stick of weed than a murder. We believe that immediately, immediately the government should embark on some sort of curfew that is strict.”

 

Joan Burke

Joan Burke, On behalf of NGO’s, Belize

“Our appeal as NGOs is that we come together as a nation in solidarity because this is not a political agenda; it is not about politicians; it is not even about the doctors it is about us as citizens of this country and want to be able to live a life free of violence. We feel that we are being held hostage by a very few and I feel that today we must take a stand.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

Colleagues say that Garcia’s body is scheduled to be taken to Guatemala on Wednesday.

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11 Responses for “K.H.M.H. staff protest on streets for slain doctor”

  1. Rod says:

    This is what happens when a country as small as Belize takes back all the gang members from the us and who is doing this barrow judas barrow he gets his 30 pieces of silver to take them back well a law needs to be passed that we will not take back any gang member or rapist or thief from the us let them keep these people we don’t want them tell the American embassy we don’t want these people.

  2. Al says:

    How very sad that crime is going from bad to worse in the country and no public figure is speaking out. I am so glad to see that finally the people are saying no more, it is about time.

  3. Ren says:

    And where are our leaders? They are in the safe houses and they don’t care. WE DEMAND JUSTICE!! WE WILL NO LONGER BE SILENCED!

  4. Uncle Benji says:

    Adrian Coye (as organizer) and all these “so called” professionals should be ashame of themselves for their slow down work march. As doctors they swore to serve mankind unselfishly.

    Our sympathy goes out to them on the loss of their comrade; but when you play dangerous love games, things can go awry. So lets move on. Why punish the public for one person’s kinkiness?

    Come on people, get real. No upright, clear thinking family man chooses a lifestyle of living seperated from his wife and kids when it is not necessary. This unfortunate murder is simply a lover’s quarrel gone bad. Real bad.

    Do not punish us. Belizeans pay a fortune for medical services. Please appreciate our sacrifice by being professional and not cry babies.

  5. Earl Grey says:

    WHERE IS THE CHURCH????

    THE CHURCHES have FAILED US!!!

  6. impartial says:

    I vote for hanging Uncle Benji for his crime of inmense stupidity… it seems that if you have a certain lifestyle your deserve to be murdered… IMBECILE!!!

  7. Disown mi country says:

    This Uncle Benji seems to know somethkng. Could he be involved.?mhhh!
    I applaud all the protesters, good job! Keep up the pressure.

  8. lino says:

    Let the doctors quit saving those lives of criminals-they can come back and kill doctors too

  9. OriginalWoman says:

    Rod you are really a fool. Do you ever read your comments??? I guess they make a lot of sense to you because you just keep them coming….As a Prime Minister, he is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the actions of killers in his country. People need to start looking at themselves, their families, disciplining their children and teaching them to respect themselves and others too. All aspect of society need to come together for the good of all. This disregard for human life is becomming the “norm” rather than the exception. I am so saddened by reading about the murders n a daily basis. I was thinking about retiring in Belize. These days I am having second thoughts.

    The only thing you say Rod that I agree with is that, Belizeans should march. I think Belizeans should march and march and march, until they get the streets back safer the way it use to be. Blaming the PM is ridiculous, just as ridiculous as people in America blaming President Obama for the vilolence and murders that are taking place in the USA. Everyone needs to be blamed, because the root of these problems has to start at home. Parents, teachers, churches, neighbors, everyone should have greater input and presence in the lives of our children. And what about the media, most movies today are not hits, unless there is violence, sex and disrespectfulness in it. Listen to the kind of music we allow to be played on the airwaves. Most of it celebrate killing, disrepectfulness to women and men, whom are always depicted as hoes and criminals.

    The MORAL FABRIC OF SOCIETY IS BECOMMING LOWER AND LOWER!!! THIS PROBLEM IS BIGGER THAN THE PRIME MINISTER. WE ALL NEED TO TAKE RESPOSIBILITY AND START TO DO BETTER!!!!

  10. BMNJ says:

    Yes lino, then their criminal brethrens will threaten to kill the doctors if they couldn’t save their lives. Watch it, the way how things are going it’s just a matter of time before something as extreme as that is going to happen.

  11. Dr. Irie says:

    I would love to have Uncle Benji in my ER. to deal with him medically.

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