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Oct 26, 2022

Eruption Nightclub at Risk of Being Shuttered

Will the Eruption Nightclub in Ladyville be shuttered following the rape of a minor?  News Five has confirmed that the Belize Police Department is awaiting official shutdown documents, following its recommendation to the Liquor License Board that the establishment’s permit be pulled, even if only temporarily. The case, which is being likened to a fatal shooting in Hopkins earlier this year in which minors were inside that nightclub, also zooms in on protocols at clubs and parenting. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. 


Duane Moody, Reporting

Eruption Nightclub located in Ladyville is at risk of being closed down as a recommendation has been made by the Belize Police Department for its liquor license to be suspended following a case of rape. While the crime did not occur at the establishment, surveillance footage confirms that the rape victim, a seventeen-year-old female, was in fact inside the club imbibing.  Earlier this week, Assistant Commissioner of Police Alden Dawson confirmed that the recommendation would have been forthcoming.


Alden Dawson

[File: October 24th, 2022] A.C.P. Alden Dawson, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch, B.P.D.

“The Ladyville police is at Eruptions Nightclub at this time retrieving the footage. If that’s the case that there was a minor, we will then be requesting to the Liquor License Board to have their license suspended as was done in Hopkins with the Wabinaha Nightclub where two persons were killed. There were some minors in that club as well.”


The Convention on the Rights of a Child seeks to ensure that Belize is a safe space to raise a child by 2030. Executive Director for the National Commission for Families and Children, Franisha Augustine says that the unfortunate situation brings into sharp focus that there are parenting gaps.


On the Phone: Franisha Augustine

On the Phone: Franisha Augustine, Executive Director, N.C.F.C.

“I really need to zone in on parenting. We need to ensure that our parents, I am begging them to ensure that their children are safe. I know that these children are leaving school a little bit earlier than children left in the past. They are leaving school from the age of sixteen, they are graduating. So again, it is still their responsibility to ensure that their child is protected and safe. They are not legally allowed to be at establishments like these if they are under the age of eighteen. So yes, they are out of high school, but they have a role to play. They need to ensure that they take responsibilities of their child or children.”


The lack of proper checking mechanisms at these establishments has also exposed the minor to crimes like these.


On the Phone: Franisha Augustine

“When we look at the owners, they too have a part to play. They need to ensure that they do the necessary checks before they allow the children or youths or anybody like that into their establishment. They can’t say that the child doesn’t look that age. It is their responsibility to ensure that they check the IDs of the individuals entering their establishment and I am sure that there is a policy for that. I recall one occurred in Hopkins of recent as well and I must say from the commission’s point of view, we are saddened by this simply because the proprietors, the parents and even the greater public at large, we all have a part to play when it comes to ensuring that these children are at home, that they are safe, that they are protected.”


Duane Moody for News Five.


Moments ago, police issued a statement saying that investigators have formally arrested and charged the manager of Eruption Nightclub, fifty-one-year-old Hector Choj and forty-four-year-old Mirna Estela Portillo for the offence of admitting a person under eighteen years of age, in accordance with the Liquor License Act, section forty-four (three B) chapter one-fifty.

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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