A public outcry was made after a video went viral showing an elderly man being mistreated by his daughter-in-law locked into a small area in a yard. Our newsroom received the video over the weekend and immediately contacted the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Human Development, Judith Alpuche, who assured us that the matter is already under investigation. As an update to the situation our Cayo Correspondent Fem Cruz filed the following report.
There was a disturbing video circulating on social media this past weekend showing an elderly man of Maya Mopan, Belmopan being mistreated. The chairman of Help Age Belize Evan Dakers shed some light on this unfortunate story,
Evan Dakers, Chairman, Help Age Belize: “On Friday last week some time in the afternoon hours the officer in charge of the Belmopan Police Precinct here was shared a video which showed an elderly man who apparently was being abused by his caretaker. We later learned that this elderly man’s name was Mr.Francisco Sacul, 90 years-old. The officer in charge immediately decided to convene a meeting with the various agencies in Belmopan who are working with the elderly population along with of course the police department and members of the Sacul family to come up with a solution to this problem. The meeting was held on the 7th of this month which was Monday gone and the outcome basically was that Mr.Sacul will be moved from where he is staying which is with one of his daughter in laws to a granddaughter who doesn’t live too far from where they live right now. In addition the granddaughter along with her siblings will provide a separate structure for Mr.Sacul to live in. In addition to that the various agencies that I mentioned earlier will provide support and assistance including food and sanitation supplies- that is coming from Help Age. We also assisted with a wheelchair and a walker. The National Council on Ageing and the Ministry of Human Development through its family unit will be providing counseling and training to the Sacul family. The Love Foundation will and continue to provide material support in terms of the structure that they are building for him and of course the police department they are prepared to monitor the situation based on feedback that they are receiving from the various agencies.”
The National Council on Ageing issued a press release today, recognizing the Belmopan Police Department and the Women and Family support Unit of the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation for their quick response. They stated that the resolution of this incident has also served as an opportunity to strengthen responding mechanisms and a reaffirmation of the coordinated effort of all agencies to safeguard the wellbeing of our elderly. The public is reminded that all forms of abuse, neglect and domestic violence should be reported to the Police Department and or the Department of Human Services.