This morning Belize Movement for Peace and Reconciliation held a press conference to address the crime situation that has been plaguing our society. In her address, the Co-ordinator of the Belize Movement for Peace and Reconciliation, Cynthia Ellis-Topsey said that a group of capable people will join forces to fight against the crime problem.
Cynthia Topsey, Coordinator: “The first step is to identify who has been doing work that has had impact. We have a network of people called the Alternative to Violence Program and these people for example have been reaching out in different countries to learn different paths of peace and reconciliation where genocide has taken place. We are doing an inventor first of all, taking stock and bringing people together rather than having scattered initiatives. The second step is to make reference to things that have been done in other countries. We know for example that Dr.Gale, there is a Gale report which addresses the issue of men at risk, we are determined to implement the recommendations that Dr.Gale made. What is the state of the Belizean family? What does that look like and how can we move to a healthy family life and not be attacking men or attacking women or attacking children. So that is one of the immediate challenges that we are going to face. This movement is about telling the story differently. I am convinced that we have the expertise and the power and the knowledge to make a difference.”
Ellis-Topsey said that after one hundred days they will report back to the people on the progress. Meanwhile, Civil society continues to condemn crime and violence against women and children. Women Empowering Families, an organization dedicated to uplifting families in Belmopan, has joined the call to end this recent crime wave. Also echoing the condemnation of these crimes is the United Women’s Group, UWG. The UWG speaks out following the recent revelation from the Police Department as they investigate a case of sexual abuse against a female child in southern Belize. Police revealed that a second child in that household has also been sexually abused, possibly by a person or persons within the same household. The UWG demands swift action calling for a nationwide collaboration to address the matter, including a multidisciplinary approach from the government authorities and a review of the implementation of the National Children’s Agenda that was launched as recent as last year.