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Jul 19, 2021

Belize City Protest: Justice for Laddie and Others Victims

Laddie Bryson Gillett

The postmortem examination conducted on Laddie Bryson Gillett who was killed in Placencia on July fourteenth has determined the cause of death to be hypervolemic shock, internal exsanguinations due to a single gun wound to the chest. Laddie’s death has therefore been ruled as a homicide. One doctor clarified with a media house that for autopsy purposes, the chest is considered the entire thorax, including the anterior, posterior, and lateral chest.  Those results were released just before news time. But on Sunday night, family, friends and sympathizers gathered in Belize City to ask that charges be upgraded and send home the message: they want justice for Laddie. Here’s a report on the event from Marion Ali.


Marion Ali, Reporting

The chant for justice for Laddie Gillett was made symbolically across from the Supreme Court building, in the Battlefield Park in Belize City on Sunday night. A group of some 25 persons, led by social activist, Moses Sulph and others, implored the Director of Public Prosecutions’ office to upgrade the charge against the boy’s accused killer, Police Corporal Kareem Martinez from manslaughter to that of murder.


Moses Sulph

Moses Sulph, Organizer, Laddie Gillett Peace Rally

“We don’t believe that manslaughter should have been the charge. We basically believe that manslaughter is a ticket to freedom.   This is what it is telling me in my mind. My son can be shot in his back, running away and the person who kills him – when my son is gone – the person who murders my son will be given bail which will eventually lead to them possibly getting a suspended sentence or seeing no jail time.”


Indira Cayetano, Auxiliary Nurse 

“I’m sending this to the D.P.P., whoever she or he is, I don’t know, but please just upgrade the charge to murder: Laddie deserves justice, the same way how Allison Major deserved justice; the same way how Fareed Ahmad deserved justice.  I believe Laddie’s situation was totally atrocious, totally reckless, totally worthless of that officer, and then you get charged fi manslaughter when you never even give a warning shot to this young man. You just aimed at this target. I know for sure they always say give a warning shot. You don’t aim at a fourteen-year-old. What (can) a fourteen-year-old do with his back turned to you?”



“We have to learn fi stand fi we ground and walk fi we talk. When we say we wa do something, do it! We need fi stop back up and stand fi we ground! Stand our ground and fight! Because when we fight God fight with we and we di fight fi our rights.”


Indira Cayetano

While the protesters lashed out against what they feel is a “free ticket” for the accused policeman, they are clear that they are not anti-Police, but simply anti-police abuse.  One of the protestors, Auxiliary Nurse Indira Cayetano also criticized Belizeans for not taking their fight further than the social media platforms.


Indira Cayetano

“Belizeans will always be Belizeans. They will be this advocate on Faebook but when it comes to stepping out, you can see the small amount of people who want to support and who want this brutality to end.”


But the public outrage on social media over the killing and the subsequent charge of manslaughter was also accompanied by accusations against the youth’s biological family who gave him up for adoption as an infant. They are accused now of using his death to make financial gains. Laddie’s mother, Linda Gillett did not want to speak at the rally, but her brother, Henry “Pulu Musa” Gillett gave his family’s side on Sunday.


Henry “Pulu Musa” Gillett

Henry “Pulu Musa” Gillett, Uncle of Laddie Gillett

“People di post a lotta stupidness pahn social media but we nuh have time fi follow it up. People wa say weh dehn want.  People di say how my sister tek twenty-five thousand dollars fi her son.  The person deh offer ah some money and ih explain to dehn “No! My son is not for sale!” I’m doing this because I am in a situation right now but hear what was the agreement. “I want a better life for my son’ to the person who ih give ah to and, I want to be a part of my son’s life.” The last time my sister see ih son da when ih four years old fi ih birthday. After ih gone back two months after the people dehn tell ah “your son is not here; he’s in America.” When people di holler bout we di use this fi try hustle money. Miss, me forty. Me never see deh money deh eena 40 years. And I could put my head pahn the block, I never yet see my sister, or hear or know she have deh kinda money deh.”


Marion Ali reporting for News Five.

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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