Representatives from the Government bodies of the University College of Belize, Galen University and Sacred Heart Junior College came together, under an overcast sky this past Thursday to sign a joint peace declaration. They called for an uplifting of our law enforcement agents; to increase their wages; and upgrade the Police Academy to produce professional graduates. Other declarations called for were the establishment of a witness protection program, and an increase in budget for forensic technology. Joining below one umbrella, the students demanded that minors be protected; that there be equitable treatment under the law and; that perpetrators be monitored. The cream of our crop called for the prioritization of a penal reform.
"Our prison system must comply with international standards," they said. The students, who took turn in reading the various declarations, stated that there is need to review the current Act on child sex tourism, and a need for the establishment of a sex offenders' registry.
"We want to see a strengthening of the prosecutory[sic] processes...invest more in Judges with specialized training and delays be minimized,” the students stated.
Area Representative for Cayo North East, the Hon. Elvin Penner took an opportunity to address the large gathering near the Administration Building in San Ignacio. He expressed gratitude to everyone for their presence.
"We are showing too, if you touch one, you touch all of us."
"We have to stand up as a Town...As long as we can constructively assist the Government, we will be in support of all."
"I will always be with the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, to do something to minimize crime," he said.
The torch brought in by runners from the highest educational institutions in the land, was witnessed by many, who lined the main artery from Belmopan to San Ignacio Town. The torch was well received by the people of San Ignacio and Santa Elena as a peaceful gesture for better security for all.
Parents of Suzenne Martinez also lit candles this past Thursday in front of the San Ignacio Police Station. Candles were also lit by relatives of those from the Cayo District, who have also passed on. Those remembered were Zhen Zhen Nang an outgoing restaurateur; Marco Thompson, a tutor at Sacred Heart College; Maria Stuart a brilliant accountant; and Sylvan Roberts, a highly skilled X-Ray technician and faithful member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Also remembered were a vibrant, Jasmine Lowe; Maritza Santos, Eduardo Sanchez, Polo Waight, Efrain Cruz and many others, who had once called the Cayo District home.