The National Women’s Commission issued a release today condemning the recent spate in gender based violence. The release says quote, “The National Women’s Commission (NWC) strongly condemns a vicious series of gender-based violence incidents that have occurred in Belize over the last month, the latest being the vicious slaying this morning of 21- Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia, who was found at her Morning Glory Street address in the City. The public is reminded that on July 3, Maria Pech was allegedly set on fire by her husband; luckily she survived. On the other hand, 29-year-old Labor Officer, Juana Cardinez and 25-year-old, Customs Officer, Keisha Buller were stabbed to death allegedly at the hands of their partners. Aware that both gender-based and domestic violence are crimes against the state, the NWC calls on the authorities to exercise a ZERO tolerance approach to violence against women in light of Belize’s ratification on November 25, 1996, of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women “Convention of Belem Do Para”. The Convention states that violence against women is any act or conduct, based on gender, which causes death or physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, whether in the public or the private sphere.” End of quote.