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Sep 27, 2021

SJC President and Belize City Mayor Speak Out Against Violence

The St. John’s College community is reeling from the death of young Dwayne Gabourel, even as they are still coming to terms with the mid-August attack on a fellow schoolmate, fifteen-year-old Kassman Gill, who was also shot during an armed attack on Magazine Road.  Gill, who was preparing to enter third form, is still hospitalized at the KHMH where his recovery has been slow.  In the wake of these tragedies, SJC President Mirtha Peralta has come forward to condemn the violence that has befallen the high school.  Likewise, Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner strongly criticizes the senseless act of gang-related incidents.


Mirtha Peralta

Mirtha Peralta, President, St. John’s College

“This is a sad day for St. John’s College, as we lose yet another student to gun violence.  We want to extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to the family of Dwayne Gabourel who is fifteen years old and a third form student in the Business Department here at St. John’s College High School. It is with deep regret that we condemn the violence that is happening in Belize and we are very aware that it is a part of a larger societal problem here in Belize and the government needs to do something about it. It is important that programs are instituted and implemented to be able to address these issues that are affecting our youth and especially for us, our boys, since we are the only all-boys institution in this country. It is important that we implement programs, for example, you know, programs for the youth to be able to address teenage parents that possibly need assistance in helping to “upbring young men.”


Bernard Wagner

Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor

“As a leader, you never want to see any young, aspiring leader, because this young man clearly had a bright future ahead, attending high school, bright, with a future ahead of him to see him being senselessly murdered. I have no sort of what you would call respect to the person who did this or the perpetrators who did this, it’s an act of terrorism and our communities have been faced with this sort of behavior for some time now. And so, leadership requires that you make tough decisions. You can never, no longer brand it as gang warfare, it’s terrorism and you have to put in place, as leaders, a plan that captures and a plan that addresses terrorism. And so, in my view, I mourn with the family because I have young children and I have a whole city of young children, I consider all the children in the city as my children and I never want to see the next child murdered. It has to 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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