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Dec 2, 2015

Teacher Says System Failed girls Burned to Death at Hostel

The senseless deaths on Saturday of three young girls…Shadisha Arnold, Elizabeth McKoy and Ana Carlos, is still dominating conversation. It happened at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel, where the three girls were burned alive when caretakers could not open the door of the room they were locked in. It is a tragedy in every sense of the word, and a failure of every protocol which should have been put in place to guarantee the safety of the girls. An investigation is ongoing, but that has not stopped the conversation. Today, activist and career teacher Anne Palacio stopped by our studios and told us that as far as she was concerned, the system failed those girls from start to finish, and is responsible for their deaths.


Anne Palacio, Teacher and Activist

Anne Palacio

“We are supposed to have things in place for our youth isn’t this youth week we are supposed to have things to assist them to rehabilitate them but from what we are gathering they were ostracized. There is a huge difference which happened to these children which is so traumatic beau as the parents had said they had placed these children in the state thinking that when they get these children back they will be productive citizens. But unfortunately they are burying their children, this should be an outcry for all Belizeans, this should be something that should have never happened. Because systems were suppose to be in place and it comes back to the place of things that people do not want to here in this country. Politic polarization is killing our society and it is making our country digress we are going backwards. And because of that we are not putting people in places that are qualified and we are not putting people in places that care and have the passion for these children. Listen, this is not an eight to five job, this is a 24/7 vocation when you are dealing with youths at this stage in their lives, they need encouragement, they need support, they need community activities to assist them to understand that there is a purpose for you in this country and in this lifetime Those children weren’t given purposes, they were placed in jail cells, like they were murdered and rapist. That is an outright cry for any Belizean who I believe have a heart . We need to stop it and we need to get back to people. I am telling you all you need I a relationship with those children for you to understand where they are coming from because a lot of our youths have been abused whether it be verbally, physically, mentally, emotionally, even financially. You need to assess each and every one at their level. Why out three children who might be angry, frustrated and not know their purpose in life in the one area and you don’t think something might happen. And then on top of that lock them up where there is padlocks? You don’t even do that to animals. Why do this to these beautiful young women who if they had a system in place they could have become productive members of society.”



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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2 Responses for “Teacher Says System Failed girls Burned to Death at Hostel”

  1. Marie says:

    In these types of cases where intervention is needed since the family doesn’t know how to cope with them, they need qualified social workers, psychologist, psychiatrist and the clergy to have a relationship with them so they know their purpose in life. Have weekly group discussion with them. Government paying employees to sit at their desk using Internet when they should be out visiting the community.

  2. BelizeanInAsia says:

    90% of the systems in Belize at various levels are broken. I literally cry as I read the updates on the tragic news of these girls. How did Belize, how did we as a people get this way? Why are we making such poor choices? And no I don’t mean only the leaders but us who make poor selection of leaders at various levels. How has Belize fallen so far back? I am almost speechless.

    By the way…how comes Mrs. Kim Simpliss Barrow, children’s advocate, commenting on this tragedy or lending of support to these girls’ families?

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