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BDF Soldier Commits Suicide, Family Has Questions

It is the policy of this station to not report on suicide as it is proper journalism ethics. There are rare cases when we do as is the case tonight, unfortunately. Belize Defence Force soldier, 23-year-old Micah Miguel took her life last week Friday. It’s on the news tonight because her family has a lot of questions about her death and feels that her death could have been prevented. Her father, Michael Miguel told reporters today that Micah was constantly bullied by her fellow BDF comrades to the point that she dove into a deep depression. The situation worsened and according to the father, Micah was placed on suicide watch. 

Michael Miguel, Father of Deceased: “The Thursday I talked to my daughter and I told her, baby I got a phone so I took the picture for her and I sent it to her and she answered me the Thursday, and she said, “Daddy, I am coming home.” You know? Not knowing that she had a lot of problems on the camp and I heard that they started to bully her on the camp. I heard about it too so that’s why I came to the media to let you all know that this has to stop if that’s happening in the BDF because I am an ex-militant too. No? So if that’s going on in the BDF and I hear a lot of allegations about it, about my daughter in it too. So I came to make the media publish this so it could go further.”

Reporter: Did Micah ever tell you she wanted to go to the police?

Michael Miguel, Father of Deceased: “Yes that was her main thing because it looked like  she was getting abused in there because when she was to come home from work, sometimes I don’t know who doesn’t let her come home or whatever because that’s what her auntie, you know she doesn’t tell me most of the things. She tells her auntie so she doesn’t really tell me anything as I said but she tells her auntie. One time I knew my daughter was in the hospital. They told me it was because of her toe, she told me you know. That is what she told me because I asked her why she was in the hospital and she told me, because I knew she had caught in a little something and she had knocked off her two toenails but I didn’t know that when she went on the camp she must have wanted to do something on the camp and they put her on suicide watch. Nobody from the camp called me as the next of kin. They didn’t call and tell me anything.”

Reporter: When did you find out? 

Michael Miguel, Father of Deceased: “When I found out was when she, it already happened.” 

Minister of National Defence and Border Security, Florencio Marin Jr, was asked about it today and he confirmed that the Belize Police Department is involved in the investigation. 

Florencio Marin Sr, Minister of National Defence & Border Security: “Firstly, no? Can you wait ‘til we have the funeral of the sergeant first before we get into the issues, no? The little I will share with you is that the BDF is in communication with the family but I’d rather, you know, out of respect for the family and for the sergeant, let’s put her to rest first.”

Reporter: But is the police investigating anything in relation to this incident?

Florencio Marin Sr, Minister of National Defence & Border Security: “The police are involved. We are always speaking with the General where we are trying to see if we could get more psychiatric help for our soldiers. You know? Perhaps even pastoral help for them and as well, well not necessarily in the psychiatric part but we are also talking about some kind of financial literacy help as well because the soldiers are trained for warfare. They are not trained for all these other issues but you know, they have a life to live as well. Some of them have families and they need to know how to be able to manage their home in particular since they spend a lot of time away from home.”