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Jun 29, 2006

Mothers will march against crime and violence

Story PictureTwo weeks ago a group of young people organised a well attended walk against crime in Belize City. On Sunday an even bigger crowd is expected to assemble for another march and vigil in support of an end to the senseless violence. This morning I spoke to the organisers.

Jacqueline Godwin, Reporting
Mothers Organized for Peace was originally formed by a group of women all of whom had lost a child to criminal violence. It has since expanded to include a cross section of citizens who can no longer tolerate crime.

Therese Felix, Mother of murdered son
?No use fu the cry and cry and cry. We got to get up and do something now. This too much and this senseless.?

It?s been only two months since Therese Felix lost her son, twenty four year old Tyrone Felix. It was a Mother?s Day tragedy that Felix is now coping with by helping to save other young people?s lives. Recently Felix got together with poet and peace activist Erwin X in an effort to organize. The result is that this weekend M.O.P will be holding its first candle light vigil to raise awareness and remember those whose lives were taken.

Erwin X, President, M.O.P.
?I am not a mother but I am a brother and I am also a father and I feel every time. I was brought up believing in God. I have been to many funerals. I have even witnessed a murder on my block recently and it?s appalling. Mister Blanco I knew him from when I was a baby so it saddens me.?

So far May has been the year?s bloodiest month with seven homicides including the double murder of brothers Kevin and Philip Brannon. Two weeks later fifty-eight year old Oliver Blanco, a security guard, was gunned down just across from the Wilton Cumberbatch Field. Later that night of May thirty-first is when police believe three members of the Oroman family were killed. Twenty-six year old Fabian Oroman, twenty-two year old Lucilla Diaz?Hernandez and the couple?s ten month old son Alexander. Their charred remains were not discovered until four days later at their home in Ontario Village.

Erwin X
?Let us stand up and fight to take back the streets of Belize City. To make this nation what she should be and not what some of our young men, who have according to the societal situation strayed, have made the streets become a place where people are afraid to walk, people are afraid to come out. We need to set a better environment for the youths, for the kids, for the elders and for the society on a whole.?

One way you can show your support is by participating in this weekend?s candle light vigil. The event gets underway at seven on Sunday evening ay the Wilton Cumberbatch Field. From the park the march will make its way onto Caesar Ridge Road into Central American Boulevard then onto to Neal Penn Road and back to Caesar Ridge Road where it will culminate with a rally at the park.

Erwin X
?We are calling on all our people, and all citizens to stand up and give support and promote peace and promote life. I want to remind our young people death expensive, life free.?

One of the first groups of concerned mothers the Yabra development Committee applauds the initiative. According to Chairperson Liz Longsworth it?s only through a unified effort that they will be able to save lives.

Liz Longsworth, Chairperson, Yabra Development Committee
?But I am depending on everybody. The politicians, the NGO?s, everybody out here because this is our business, this is everybody?s business. Because when the guns turn on them they complain, so join with us and mek we deal with this peace thing.?

Therese Felix, Mother of murdered son
?We cannot depend on no politician red nor blue, we have to get up and show them that we can do something too. We have to take back our community, get to the young ones them, and do something positive.?

That?s one promise M.O.P intends to keep after the Candle light vigil by holding a number of activities for young persons.

Meanwhile the Yabra Development Committee says plans are well underway to officially open their centre at the corner of Faber’s and Caesar Ridge Roads.

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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