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Jun 29, 2012

Small demonstration by Jasmine Lowe supporters in Capital

While the Prime Minister was presenting his first post election budget, outside the National Assembly building, a handful of demonstrators kept up the pressure against crime. Jasmine Lowe, the murdered thirteen year old girl from Santa Elena, was central to the demonstration. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

What should have been a mass gathering outside of the Assembly Building, a nonviolent convergence of protestors from the twin towns in the west, to bring pressure on the Barrow Administration in seeking justice for the murder of Jasmine Lowe, was instead a last minute trickle of her close friends braving the unforgiving midday heat.  The absence of the slain teenager’s parents coupled with anemic attendance begs the question of whether or not public interest in what has been touted as the trial of the century has indeed waned.

 

Alberto Palma

Isani Cayetano

“What happened today as to why there is a paltry number of people out here in front of the Assembly building?”

 

Alberto Palma, President, Bishop Martin neighborhood Watch Committee 

Well there are several factors that contribute to that.  A lot of people are working, today is Friday and it’s payday.  People will go and get their pay, you know, also school is closing today so parents might be at school with their children [and] things like that.  But still we are not giving up and we are here to let the nation know that we will keep standing up for what is right and we’re asking for justice and we’ll keep doing so until we get results.”

 

Despite the arrest and subsequent arraignment of twenty-eight year old Bert Vasquez, believed to be Jasmine’s killer, the often slow judicial process is only just taking shape.  An initial court date has been set for August twenty-second, when Vasquez will make his appearance before the Supreme Court.  The outcome, nonetheless, is anyone’s guess.

 

Cecilia Neal Flowers, Scout Adult Leader, Troop 27 

Cecilia Neal Flowers

“It’s not like we’re expecting a conviction right away.  The thing is that it’s like [what] people had said before, you know ninety percent plus of the criminals, you know, just go in jail and they come out back and there’s no justice and we fear that.  We don’t want this to repeat over and over again because, according to sources and according to the media, this guy has been convicted more than once and why is he out on bail so many times also, you know, just to go to Cayo and repeat the same thing again?  Is he gonna keep doing it if he gets out?”

 

…and that’s the sentiment that lingers in the recesses of the mind.  Vasquez has been condemned in the court of public opinion without having been tried formally.  Jasmine’s friend Casey, on the other hand, is appealing to the government to earmark additional funds to be used in creating and implementing stern penalties for crimes such as this.

 

Isani Cayetano

“What would be one of the messages you would send to the leaders of this country with regards to monies being spent on cases to be solved and crime to be curtailed?”

 

Casey Flores

Casey Flores, Friend of Jasmine Lowe

“I just want to tell the leaders that we want their support and they should invest in not doing [anything] associating with the criminals, instead they should invest in having heavier measures placed on the criminals, especially those who harm [an] innocent child such as Jasmine.  And I just want the prime minister to know that we want his support and the support of the entire parliament inside.”

 

Gone is the candlelight vigil in the wake of the gruesome discovery of Jasmine’s body, so has the flash mob that congregated at the base of the San Ignacio Police Station on the day of Vasquez’s arraignment, her memory and the relentless pursuit of justice however, remains very much alive even if it isn’t reflected in today’s turnout. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

 

Twenty-eight year old Bert Vasquez has been charged with Jasmine’s murder and for allegedly assaulting as many as thirteen girls from the Cayo area. 


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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8 Responses for “Small demonstration by Jasmine Lowe supporters in Capital”

  1. Rod says:

    Unu Shula mi heng a unu self this pm no k bout jasmine or nobody else he only k bout gang leaders and the criminals.

  2. Storm says:

    I hope they keep the spirit of activism up in Cayo, and that it spreads to every other city, town, and village.

    In the end, Belize IS its people, and for its people. They can and should take action of their own to make their communities safer. I believe these leaders should start to organise interested people to patrol their own streets, and keep eyes open and alert everywhere for anything unusual or criminal.

    The police should welcome intense citizen involvement like that, and I think it can reduce crime a lot.

  3. Mrs.Kaila Moralez says:

    i was shocked to witness that none of the ministers in government bothered to meet with the people demonstrating for Jasmine Lowe.While on the other hand all the Ministers from the opposition came to meet with the demonstrators for Jasmine.That shows how cold and insensitive this UDP government is.

  4. OriginalWoman says:

    Kudos to you All who are protesting and reclaiming the streets of Belize from the criminals. I am soproud of you!!! Keep marching and organize as many as you can until you see a change in the laws. Belizeans in the city, please do the same thing. March on until your voices are heard where it counts!!!!!

  5. The World says:

    How soon you forget. Remember Belize.. The world is watching.

  6. Nicholasa says:

    The prime minister ensured that the alleged shooter of law partner Rodwell Williams got trial without a jury because he is prominent in society and his life is considered important. To us Jasmine’s life is as important as that of Mr. Williams and we demand the same level of justice…the lawyers willing to defend Bert Vasquez should be ashamed of themselves, we have all learned of all the crimes committed by this sick guy which makes him a serial predator of minors…he should never walk the streets of Belize again

  7. A mother says:

    Rapists should be castrated

  8. A mother says:

    Rapists should be castrated

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