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Oct 4, 2002

Catholics plan march against rape

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On Sunday, the Faith and Justice Commission of the Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church invites you to participate in a three mile walk dubbed, A March for Prayer. The symbolic action, which takes place in the Cayo District, is to raise awareness regarding the increase of violence against women, particularly incidents of rape. This evening, News 5′s Jacqueline Woods caught up with two of the organisers, Sisters Carolee Chanona and Barbara Flores.

Sister Barbara Flores, Organiser, March for Prayer

“What has been happening most recently is that we have heard so many incidences of rape. And it’s occurring throughout the country of Belize, certainly not only in Belize City. In fact, just two days ago three minors attacked this young woman and so there needs to be a public outcry, we absolutely have to start doing something about this violence. And so I think we need to sensitise ourselves, educate ourselves, in order for the community to know that this is the ultimate violation. And the hope is that we will be able to make people more aware so that we don’t just allow these things to continue to happen.”

Sister Carolee Flores, Organiser, March for Prayer

“Something that has concerned us for some time, as Sister Barbara has said, the increasing incidents of violence and just becoming a violent society. And the most recent incident that involved many people, including American tourists, was the incident at El Pilar. And that is what triggered us to take an action sooner rather than later, because we felt it was a teachable moment. And so it’s actually one month later that we intentionally planned to have this prayer march that consists of a three-mile procession. It will begin at the juncture of Bullet Tree Falls road and Joseph Andrew Drive in San Ignacio and we will walk for three miles with three stops. After each mile there will be a pause where there will be reflection, prayer, songs and then we continue. So there will be three stations so to speak, addressing one aspect of rape and violence.”

The Sisters are asking participants to wear the colour orange as it symbolizes positive energy. The March for Prayer will conclude at the junction of the El Pilar road in Bullet Tree Falls. Transport will be provided. A Novelos bus leaves at 6:00 a.m. from the St. Francis Xavier Church in Corozal and picks up participants from the Immaculada Parish in Orange Walk. In Belize City, buses will leave at 7:30 from Holy Redeemer and St. Ignatius parishes, while a bus will also be leaving from the Pallotti bus stop.

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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