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#387923 - 09/16/10 08:38 AM Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
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Eight year old Eyannie Nunez who was shot and killed in the early hours of Sunday morning will be laid to rest tomorrow at All Saints Church. The organization, Belizeans for Justice is asking businesses to close their doors for the day as an act of solidarity with the Nunez family. Yolanda Schakron, President of Belizeans for Justice told Love News that even after calling on the business community to join in the move on short notice, the response has been good.

Yolanda Schakron; President, Belizeans for Justice

“Tomorrow we are asking for a shut down of all businesses. We are asking for schools to come out and participate in this shut down either by going to the funeral. We have gotten commitments from Ebenezer, St. Ignatius and All Saints. They will be lining the route of the funeral as little Eyannie is laid to rest tomorrow. We have gotten total commitment from the Indian Community that they will be closing down for the entire day. The chamber just called me; some of their members will be closing down for the entire day. They have said that they want to work with us. They are in solidarity with us but that the notice is a little bit short for them. We want to call for an awareness of how serious the situation is as far as crime in concerned in our city right now. We are also calling for solidarity with the family of this young girl who was so brutally murdered in her bed; in her home. You should be safe in your home but apparently you are not anymore. We are calling for unity among everyone in Belize. We can’t be divided ‘we dah no Chin, we dah no Hindu, we no black’. We are all Belizeans and we need to unite and show solidarity and show that we are willing to come together as a people, as a community fight the crimes and to take back this city.”

Dalila Ical, Reporter

Has the response from the community been favourable?

Yolanda Schakron

“Very, very favourable; they have been very happy with what we are doing and I have gotten a lot of calls.”

Schakron adds that Belizeans for Justice will become even more active in the fight against crime.

Yolanda Schakron

“After this shut down we are going to be a group that is very active. We intend to put pressure; we intend to ... we want to see changes. We want to live in a better Belize. We have all been impacted by crimes. I have lost my nephew and most of the mothers have lost a loved one to violence. We are here committed and we are here determined to see that this city goes back to being a safe city where we are not imprisoned in our homes anymore.”

Dalila Ical, Reporter

This fire in you will continue even after threats as in the past?

Yolanda Schakron

“It continues because I am a Christian and I believe that Christ is there. He protects us. Christopher was taken away from me and I believe that is the sacrifice I had to pay in order for me to come out and stand up and stand up for righteousness. I believe that righteousness always prevails over evil. If God is for you no can be against you.”

The Faculty of Arts and Education of the University of Belize, Belize City Branch have also pledged their solidarity with Belizeans for Justice. A release from the group states that they see themselves as being in the business of education. As a result while they will show up for classes tomorrow, they will not teach. The faculty says at midday they will march to the KHMH morgue to join the family of eight year old Eyannie Nunez. According to the release they are also standing in support of one of their part time lecturer whose father, Apolonio Hernandez, was one of the senseless murders on Sunday morning.


#387924 - 09/16/10 08:40 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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The Shutdown In Effect

And while police continue to work on those cases, tomorrow, tears will not be enough for the burial of 8 year old Eyannie Nunez. The funeral is being held at the All Saint's Church, where the standard one student also attended school. In solidarity with her grieving family and in protest of the senseless crime that took her life, the Belizeans For Justice group has called for a business shutdown.

Today the responses came back. The Chinese community President Edmond Quan told us that they will not participate and tomorrow they will be open for business as usual. He says the notice was too short and they did not have time to prepare.

The Indian Business Community says that they are shutting down tomorrow but president Arun Hotchndani told us they are not taking sides and only doing it to show respect and sympathies to the family of Eyannie Nunez. Mega -supermarket Publics says it will close from 12:30 to 4:00 pm. BWEL will be closing down as well as Bottom Dalla supermarket, and Travelers Liquors.

According to our information the Chamber Of Commerce also says the notice is too short and has not asked its members to participate, but has urged them to close if they wish to do so.


#387925 - 09/16/10 08:40 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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Police Minister Wants to Take Part In Shutdown

And, surprisingly one man who wishes he could join is police minister Doug Singh. That's right, he says the shutdown should be just the beginning.

Hon. Doug Singh - Minister of Police and Public Safety
"I want to encourage the public to do even more than that. I think the shutdown will be effective in getting the kind of support that is necessary for the kind of changes that we need. We want to support them in context of the shutdown, unfortunately is essential services and I cannot ask that the police to shutdown under the circumstances. We strongly support the action of the public in bringing attention to this."

Jules Vasquez
"But it is a protest against you."

Hon. Doug Singh - Minister of Police and Public Safety
"It is not just a protest against us. It is a protest against crime and I think I honestly believe that the public understands that it is not just the police's fault. It is knee jerk reaction to blame the police. As a member of the public I used to blame the police also and I think there are circumstances that I will still blame the police for. Myself included as the head of the police. I have to take responsibility."

Channel 7

#387926 - 09/16/10 08:41 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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Sylvana On Shutdown

And while Singh can't join in - though he wishes he could - schools will also be participating. A number of schools will send students to the funeral or will have students line the route of the funeral with placards, while at the University of Belize City campus, some lecturers have opted to sit out of classes. Sylvana Udz told us that they do it in solidarity.

Sylvana Udz, UB
"One of our faculties of education and arts lecturers by the name of Lisa Alvarez, her dad was senselessly murdered this week as well, this past weekend and of course little Eyannie who could have been a UB student when she grows up. Her mother is quite close to some of our departmental support staff in the city and all of you were talking this morning, we heard the call on KREM and from Mrs. Schakron and we said that we are in the business of education. education is a product, if there is a call to close down businesses to ask the Indian community and others to close down businesses, we are a business. A large percentage, so far we have 9 signed signatures from the city lecturing staff that will not go to classes tomorrow and they are in the process on informing their students tomorrow Thursday, We are going to the funeral, going with our Belize flag and we are calling on all to please support this big stance we have to make against senseless crime. It's senseless Jim and while we can't speak for UB or the management we can speak for our lecturers who have been affected, we can speak to the senseless nature of trying to educate people when they can cross the street today and die the next day. So we are calling on everybody who sees themselves as a productive members of this society to join this call to shutdown businesses tomorrow or to at least attend the funeral or to at least have a prayer for these people and their families."

Belizeans for Justice President Yolanda Schackron says overall they have gotten overwhelming support from the business community because even those who say they will not shut down have called to express solidarity.

Channel 7

#387927 - 09/16/10 08:42 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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Indian Community joins protest

Arun Hotchandani

Fully on board with Belizeans for Justice is the entire Indian community in Belize City, which will not open for business on Thursday. Head of the Indian Community, Arun Hotchandani, says the decision was taken after the community decided they would close to protest the recent spate of murders.

Arun Hotchandani, Counsel General Indian Community

“We’re gonna be closing in sign respect of the little girl who was eight years old who passed away and also in respect to all those people who fell to crime as a victim. It is just in due respect to them that we would offer our contribution, our input. This is a national problem, it’s not a party politics problem and everybody needs to do their share. I discussed it with many of the community leaders and we gave them the two options of during the funeral or the full day and most of them voted for the full day.”

Yolanda Schakron, Founder, Belizeans for Justice

Yolanda Schakron

“This message is being sent to our leaders, this message is being sent to the criminals that we will not tolerate it anymore, this message is being sent to everybody because what we want to show, that we are united and we will come together as a people and we’re determined to quell or stop this crime wave weh di affect us in the city right now, inna this country. We are not politically affiliated with no parties, I must say that. So I think this is just the first step that we are taking. We intend to continue the pressure. We want to see a whole change in the judicial system; we want to see more resources for the police department. We want to se more conviction so that murderers noh di walk out deh free and the commit the crimes over and over again.”

As far as we know, the Asian community will remain open, as will Brodies and the San Cas group of companies because they claim they need more time for logistic purposes. Other companies that will remain closed are Belize Western Energy Limited, Gas Tomza Limited, Southside Butane, Brown’s Butane, Philip Neal’s Butane, and Southern Choice Butane Limited.

Channel 5

#387999 - 09/17/10 08:23 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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And while so many went to Eyannie's funeral - and witnessed the procession - the city also partially shut down for it. The business shut down was effective today - even if all the businesses didn't shut down many did. And even many who opened this morning, closed their shutters this afternoon to pay respects to the funeral.

Andrea Polanco found out what it was like on Albert Street:…

Today downtown Belize City seemed almost liked a Sunday as few people were seen in the streets and most taxis were parked. Most importantly shutters were down at many of the big businesses on Albert Street including: Sikaffy's, Wellworth, Mirage, Whole Sale Plus and Doony's. Passersby gave their opinions on the shutdown:

Ernesto Robinson: Downtown Taxi Cooperative
"It does affect things on Albert but it's for the cause you know. A little girl in her bed dead, I mean that is too much. There is no justice in Belize. Everybody says the same thing over and over again."

Andrea Polanco
"So you think that the closing of the business kind of make things slower for the taxi operators than normal?"

Ernesto Robinson: Downtown Taxi Cooperative
"It is slower, but it's for the cause, right."

Andrea Polanco
"So you 100% support the cause?"

Ernesto Robinson: Downtown Taxi Cooperative
"Yes, all of us support the cause, but I think the Chinese business people suppose to be the first ones because they are the target ones."

Kent Brown
"Well I think it is a good thing. But then the Chinese community don't want join in with everybody else. They say that it's just a short notice but I think it is a different thing from that because when they had the shutdown nobody didn't join with them. I think we have to join the Chinese when they have a shutdown, that is what I think."

Man in the street
"Well I don't think it's really beneficial because that is not saying anything like make the youths keep it down from the crime you know. That is not really saying anything about the crime at all."

Andrea Polanco
"What do you think right now about the crime in Belize?"

Man in the street
"Well it's outrageous the law; if they can't execute people in Belize or at least cut off their trigger finger. If they don't want to execute them then cut off their trigger finger, make them spend time."

"Well I am with it because desperate measures need to be taken in times like this. The poor little girl; my condolence goes out to the family and it's a passive action, its sending a message to people out there in higher society and to guys committing these hideous crimes against our own Belizean. They are Belizean like us. I say that it's about time we get down and put an end to all this madness. Only we can do it, nobody from the outside or under the ground can do it. It's about time they put down the gun and make the violence stop."

And while opinions on the shutdown were mixed, those who did open complained that business was slow because many shoppers stayed home in solidarity.

Channel 7

#388002 - 09/17/10 08:26 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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San Ignacio & Santa Elena join protest against violence

The message against crime was crystal clear in Belize City where there was outpouring support for the family of the fallen eight year old All Saints student. But the outrage against crime and violence was felt across the country. In the northern districts, a few businesses closed, so did in Dangriga. But in the west, which has experienced its share of violence, business came to a halt in a massive show of support both in Benque Viejo and in San Ignacio. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports from San Ignacio.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

Shutters were pulled down, doors locked, some even padlocked. Businesses of every variety in the twin towns were closed; only a handful remained open. The mayor of the twin towns said that almost eighty percent of businesses were closed.

John August, Jr., Mayor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena

John August jr

“I was a bit surprised this morning when I was told that most businesses downtown San Ignacio and in Santa Elena were closed. But I guess the level of frustration with crime in our country has reached to this stage and we noticed that most of the business people here are in solidarity. And it is affecting business here in San Ignacio and Santa Elena because most of our grocery stores and other major stores are closed today noh. I took a drive around this morning and I would say about seventy-five percent of the businesses in this municipality are closed today.”

Jose Sanchez

“How successful has it been?”

Edward Cano, Councilor, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town

“Well really, the chiney community close their doors, the Hindus, the majority of the shops in San Ignacio close their doors for today noh.”

The mass lockdown came from concerned businesses along with the gentle prodding of one town councilor who had been walking from door to door requesting a shutdown.

Edward Cano

“I mi deh out in town to try to convince the people to close their doors for the solidarity for the same victim weh get shot. Really, I try encourage people to make they close their doors because really we noh want make this thing continue especially inna the Cayo area. Really it’s so sad. It hurts the family and it could be somebody else, it could be we.”

According Herbert Gayle’s Male Social Participation in Violence Research San Ignacio is behind Belize City as a place of violent crime. Chinese national Zhen Zhennong was killed in Santa Elena on Mother’s Day while she carried her six month old Yan Yu on her back. And in June, Marlon Rivera was murdered during a double shooting; his friend, Dean Dougal, was shot several times, including a bullet to his neck. Dean was at the throes of death in his hospital bed, but like the Phoenix, this family man has risen from the ashes.

Dean Dougal, Survived Shooting

Dean Dougal

“My friend called me after the club and he was sitting talking and this guy came from behind and just start shoot. When I woke up three days after, they told me my friend had died. I mi get shot up, but I di heal now. I di go through the healing and only the arm and I still got a lot of bullet in me. When I get blood, they wah take it out because I mi loose wah lot of blood.”

Jose Sanchez

“It seems like a miracle you survived. The last time we saw you, you were in a hospital bed and you still managed to point out the shooter who shot you and your friend.”

Dean Dougal

“Yeah and I thank god for that because if I didn’t point him out, ih woulda mi get away because ih get away with one murder already.”

The New Officer Commanding the Cayo Formation, Superintendent Chester Williams, is tasked to rehabilitate San Ignacio.

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams, O.C., Cayo Police Formation

Sr. Supt. Chester Williams

“Yes statistically that is the reality in terms of San Ignacio being behind Belize as it pertains to violent crimes in the country. But I must say that my predecessor, Mister Wade, he was doing an excellent job. I took over from him at the end of July this year and basically what I am doing is just following up on what Mister Wade has started and looking at new initiatives that I believe will be able to help the police in succeeding in the Cayo area.”

John August Jr.

“I know a lot of people will say that it’s the police, it’s the Prime Minister’s job to find an answer, but I believe—my personal opinion is that it’s everybody’s job to find a solution to the crime problem we have in this country today. It’s not only up to one department or one man alone. The society has to realize that we have a problem and we need to find ways in how we can correct the problem. It’s a major, major crisis affecting our country.”

Dean Dougal

“I have a kid too. This dah my son and if anybody woulda kill him, I don’t know how I woulda feel. And I think that we need to deal with the murder because the murder is outa control. If you listen to my voice, I just di get it back from my accident.”

Keisha Bahador, Dougal’s common-law-wife

“You know, a family is united and they come together. He is the head of the family and if we woulda mi lose him, they mi wah grow up without wahn father because fi he love they can’t replace. Other man wah come but they noh wahn love yo children as much as weh they own father wah love them. We almost lost that and ih real scary. Once yo done gone through it then yo wah know how ih feel. It’s rough. I ‘fraid. You watch the news every night and if they coulda mi try kill he front ah hundred and hundred a people middle ah the town, I expect anything you know. So I take a lot of precautions now. So I don’t really go out a lot as I used to.”

Jose Sanchez

“As a mother and as a wife, what do you think can be done to curb the violence? What do you think?”

Keisha Bahador

“Well I think it start at home you know. From the children they are small; you have to teach them right from wrong. You have to give your child a lot of attention and try to teach them from they’re small because it really start at home because when they done grow, you can’t help them. “

While the children are still impressionable, they can be taught to respect life and country. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

#388093 - 09/18/10 11:15 AM Re: Belizeans For Justice Organizes Business Shut Down [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 55,653
Marty Offline
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Belizeans for Justice Pres. says business shutdown was successful

The appeal by the Belizeans for Justice Movement for the closure of business for one day to protest against the level of crime and violence that has ravaged Belize City streets came at a late juncture. A few Belize City-based businesses could not, for logistics purposes, close, but many did support the cause. For this first effort, the movement called on only Belize City-based business to take part, but several more in several parts of the country thought it important and fitting enough to join in. And according to President of Belizeans for Justice, Yolanda Schakron, the response was very encouraging.

Yolanda Schakron, Pres., Belizeans for Justice

Yolanda Schakron

“I am pretty happy about the closure about the support for the family. I saw Belizeans coming together and uniting and I think they have realized that the crime situation is very severe and that the only way we can try to get a whole of this, to try to get the crimes to go down is to work as a community. The closure, you know e didn’t get a hundred percent, but what we got, I’m happy with it. I mean it was last minute, I understand some stores aid they needed more them, that’s understanding. When the funeral was passing, the people that were out there. It was a sad day but I think we reached the point where it is a breakthrough.”

Marion Ali

“What’s next for Belizeans for Justice?”

Yolanda Schakron

“Belizeans for Justice will be in the September twenty-first parade. We are calling on everyone to come out. I have gotten some feedback that certain schools will be—they have to parade, but they will carrying signs against violence and it will be like an anti-violence parade.”

Belizeans for Justice is also assisting Steven Buckley, the man who was shot during a police operation earlier this year. Schakron says that Belizeans for Justice is acting as the mediator between the police and Buckley.

Channel 5

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