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Mar 11, 2020

Will Families of B.D.F. Soldiers Receive Compensation?

Audrey Matura

Families of the fallen Belize Defense Force soldiers met with the Minister of National Security Michael Peyrefitte and Chief of Defense Staff, Admiral Borland and investigators on Tuesday at Price Barracks. They were represented by three attorneys including Audrey Matura.  The families of the soldiers are expected to receive benefits, but that might take months since a grant of administration must be obtained in order to receive the benefits.  Matura says that the families have agreed that they would be asking the government for an advance of these benefits since the soldiers were, in most of the case, the sole breadwinners.

 

Audrey Matura, Attorney for Families

“One of the things that I wish the government to consider and I speak on behalf of all four families because they are all in agreement with this position is that we know that there are financial benefits that all four soldiers are entitled to by virtue of having served in the military. We know as lawyers that there is a process that we have to go through to the court to get a grant of administration so that the administrator of the estate can request that from the military. However that does take a couple of months. It can take three to six months and depending on certain circumstances it can take more. So we think that one of the government should be considerate of is to give them an advance on those benefits to be subtracted from the final payment that needs to be made on their benefits because the reality is most of these women were very much dependent on the salary of their husbands. Even when they worked it was a family and they have children and then suddenly to be weeks, days, months without that money I think we need to consider their financial position at this point. That is one of the things we would be putting in writing to the government for them to consider. It is nothing unusual to be asking for an advance.”


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