The Cayo District has earned the reputation of being a no-nonsense municipality when it comes to crime and violence. Its people have held countless demonstrations, marches, community meetings and they have organized the most neighborhood watch programs in the entire country. And today, they continued their fight against crime with a peace walk organized by the Galen University Student Government. After the walk, we met up with one the organizers, Monica Chun.
It was a Peace Marathon that was put together by the Student Government Association of Gallen University. The walk started at 5:30 this morning in front of E&R Enterprise in Santa Elena Town, and then they moved their way all the way down to Gallen University Main Campus. The walk took about an hour or so, and when we arrived there we had a short opening ceremony, thanking everybody, welcoming everybody to Galen first of all. The main participants in that included the Student Government Association, students from Galen University, as well as the Purple Movement from San Ignacio, and the Jaguar Scouts from Santa Elena and San Ignacio Town.
The purpose of today’s march was to promote peace and awareness to the crime situation in the country. Last year, the two horrific incidences that shook not only the San Ignacio, Santa Elena towns, but the entire country, were the senseless murders of 13 year girl scout Jasmine Lowe and 20 year old UB student Suzenne Martinez. Chun says that today’s march was in their memory and it was held today to coincide with Suzenne’s birthday, which is Friday.
It was just based on promoting peace, awareness to our young students on Campus, our young leaders who are coming up, especially the Jaguar Scouts. All these children are in Primary, High School, and just to get them to be more aware of what’s happening, and remember that these two girls, Miss Suzenne Martinez and Jasmine Lowe, were victims of such viscous crimes, that we still have them in our memories. From what has happened to them, we can always learn, and to get students to be more aware.
The group plans to hosts more peace marches in the future. They say that they want to expand their efforts to the entire country.
This morning it was addressed at the Opening Ceremonies, that definately they would want to continue to work with the Purple Movement and the Jaguar Scouts, in making this Marathon not only something for this year, but having it as a tradition, and a growing tradition, that Belizeans could be more a part of, and not have it be only focused in Cayo, or in that town, but have it become something of a country’s initiative, similar to what they have done with the three Tertiary level institutions in the Cayo District last year, having the Peace Rally. So it would be a link from that Peace Rally tom a Marathon now. that is spreading awareness from one household, to a neighbourhood, to a community, to the country.