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Apr 20, 2020

UNIBAM Exec. Dir. Says Police & Community Could Not Identify Mental Breakdown

Caleb Orosco

The family claims that Roca was denied access to medical assistance due to his HIV status, saying that a post-mortem was initially refused because of that. Caleb Orosco, the Executive Director of the United Belize Advocacy Movement, also known as UNIBAM, says that the ordeal that Roca endured in the days leading up to his death shows that the police department, family members and the community where he lived, could not identify or know how to assist a person who was having a mental breakdown.


Caleb Orosco, Executive Director, UNIBAM

“The problem here is police officers, neighbours, family members—no matter who they are—don’t have the tools necessary to understand what a mental breakdown looks like and to legitimately respond with some level of empathy. For me, he didn’t die from complications, he didn’t die from multiple organ failure, he didn’t die from being hit in the face; he died from a lack of empathy because not the police, not the neighbours, not family members, nobody, absolutely nobody had the tools or in this case, they were lacking in compassion or in this case empathy to understand this fellow needed help, that he had lost his mom three months ago, but that they were not helping in the mocking that they were doing in Facebook, they were not helping in addressing the legitimate case of pain, they were not helping in the indifference. And so I say this is a lesson for all of us.”

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