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Nov 25, 2021

16 Days of Activism Kicks Off; Gender Based Violence Major Issue in Belize

It happens over and over again: women are killed at the hands of their current or former spouses. But men have been killed too in domestic incidents. And so have children—young ones and teens –caught in the crossfire of parental disputes.  Today those tasked with trying to eliminate the deaths, the beatings and even emotional and psychological abuse, met to chart a new way forward. This year they are also prioritizing ways to publicize the services being offered, since all too often victims do not know where to turn or who to tell.  Paul Lopez has more.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The recent killing of Jennifer Archilla and her 12 year old daughter at the hands of the mother’s partner is an extreme example of domestic / gender based violence.  Governmental agencies and stakeholders continue to plan and strategize towards putting an end to gender based violence.


Rosana Briceño, Special Envoy for Families and Children

Rosana Briceño

“As a woman in Belize it is scary to even imagine that the violence can escalate to that point that a man gets so violent, he doesn’t care if the daughter is there, he will kill her too. I mean what happened? Where is our love, where is our kindness? We are growing up in a Belize where there now is no love for each other.”


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister, Ministry of Human Development, Families

“Literally Paul, it is sickening. It really is sickening and exceedingly sad, exceedingly sad. I think a day like today, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, it is so important for us to mark it. And so far, the proceedings have been thoughtful, humble and prayerful 49

There is the criticism that gender based violence issues only take the spotlight during this time of the year, and only for a short time. That is why this year’s theme, “You and Me, from 16 days to 365, End Gender Based Violence Now,” is so important.”


Thea Garcia Ramirez, President, National Women’s Commission

Thea Garcia Ramirez

“It is not up to the organization, it is not up to the police, the judiciary. It is a task for everyone, for you, for me. And, the task is not only during the sixteen days of activism. It is three hundred and sixty five days a year.”

In tackling this complex issue, where support to victim plays a key role, the National Women’s Commission notes that getting information out about the services victims can access is key to their fight.


Rosana Briceño

“What could have been done? That is the question that we have been asking over and over. What can we do? There is a lot that can be done before somebody else dies. I was having the discussion with somebody and I feel like, we have policies in place. We have a lot of initiatives and things going on in Belize. I think it is high time we prioritize now that we need to be able to have laws that will hold these perpetrators accountable, that there must be a consequence. Because, it is happening over and over and there is no consequence.”

Thea Garcia Ramirez

“There are a lot of services that are available to women. I think where more work need to be done. A lot for the times, there are services and people don’t know. We have and continue to do a lot…and gender based violence.”


And, while cases like that of Jeniffer Archilla and her daughter are shocking, the hope of putting an end to this scourge, lives on.


Dolores Balderamos Garcia

“I have always felt that people are not for hitting, meaning let us reduce that violence. Let us eliminate it all together if we can. Unfortunately, some of the most heinous cases really cause us to stop in our tracks and say, what more can we do, what more can we do? And, it is not a fight that is insurmountable, as we are being reminded today. I think once we commit ourselves and work, if it is one death we prevent, that is something worthwhile doing.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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