Disturbing Video Sparks Outrage in Belize City: Police Investigate Assault of Minor

Disturbing Video Sparks Outrage in Belize City: Police Investigate Assault of Minor

Tonight, police are probing into a disturbing incident that was caught on camera in Belize City and has sparked anger among residents. The video, which has been circulating on social media, shows a minor dressed in a high school uniform being courted by an elderly man on a bicycle. The child, whose face was not blurred, is seen talking with the man, who tries to persuade the young girl to visit him at his home. The man then attempts to kiss the minor on her mouth, but the child pulls away. However, the man continues to cat-call the minor, who then walks away. Love News has confirmed that police are expected to detain the man and charge him with assault, pending a statement from the minor.  The video has sparked the outrage of many, including the President of the Women’s Commission, Thea Garcia Ramirez. This evening, Garcia condemned the incident and called for the authorities to act swiftly. 

Thea Garcia Ramirez, Women’s Commission: “What I can say and what I can tell you certainly is that this is an older gentleman, clearly and adult and this is a young girl in a school uniform. There is a definite imbalance of power. We are taught at a young age that we must respect older people. I see the child standing, because she is a child, standing there in her uniform clearly at a loss of exactly what it is to do. Now the onus and the responsibility is always on the adult because as an adult you know the consequences of your actions and you know exactly what you’re doing. That is not always the case with children which is why there is an age of consent. Now Belize in general has a problem with sexual harassment and this is a prime example. A young girl, a school age girl cannot always be expected to understand what is happening and what it is exactly what is the right way to  behave or what exactly is it that she’s supposed to do. I see a lot of people walking around but unless you are there listening to what is being said and it’s not clear what conversation is going on I can’t blame people for walking by but obviously the person that was videoing knew exactly what was going on and why they were videoing it and this gentleman put his hand on this child so that is assault, that is sexual assault and I am hoping that the authorities take a good look at it and charge this man for what he has done. It is never okay. The position and the stance of the National Women’s Commission and I dare say of all the authorities has to be always no tolerance. We don’t tolerate this type of thing.”

Garcia also added that while the circumstances around the video are unclear, there is no blame to be placed on the minor and called for an end to victim blaming. 

Thea Garcia Ramirez, Women’s Commission: “It is a shame on our society, on us as Belizeans that we would take somebody that is clearly the victim and aggravate whatever feelings of shame she’s going through and make it even worse. Another thing that I don’t condone is the showing of the child’s face because as you can clearly see from the comments on that post the child is being blamed for something that obviously she is not the aggressor. She is standing there probably trying to get home and this man is standing in front of her and there are many things at play here. I don’t know if the person is related to her, I don’t know if other than his age and obvious experience in life which is a clear advantage over her if in fact there are other issues present. It’s very difficult to give an opinion because we are only privy to a very short video and the sound isn’t clear but what I can tell you is that the gentleman put his hands on her and tried to kiss her that is what I can see and that much is plain and she is in a school uniform and it doesn’t matter – the child’s reputation should not be the focus here. I mean the man is clearly the adult and he is responsible for his behavior. She is not yet responsible for her behavior because she is not of age, that is clear by law. That is common sense, children make mistakes and don’t always know exactly how to respond to situations such as these.”

Our newsroom reached out to the Ministry of Human Development and Families as well as the Police Commissioner, but we got no response.

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