Sunday, April 14, 2024

Government of Belize condems violence against older people

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Violence against older people is a global issue. Older people remain vulnerable to neglect, abandonment, and abuse. However, we note the distressing occurrence in the cases of violent crimes perpetrated against older men in Belize. In less than two weeks, active older men have been murdered in or near their homes. These cold-hearted crimes cannot be left to fade quietly into the noise of everyday news. These perpetrators must be caught and brought to justice.
Older people are the backbone of this country. They have worked and continue to work to provide for themselves, their families, and the development of the country. Any Belizean having worked and built a life for him/herself has the right to enjoy the fruits of their labour without fear or threat. Having older people being targeted because of their vulnerability is unacceptable. It is no secret that, as a nation, we are grappling with a rise in crime. These instances of violent crimes against older people highlight that crime and violence impacts every person in our society and interventions must involve all citizens.
We call on the Police Department, community watch organizations, older person organizations, churches, and every member of our community to keep our society safe. The Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Affairs and the National Council on Aging continue to do our part to support and advocate for older persons’ safety and well-being. You can do your part by reporting suspicious activities, checking in on older people who are living alone and reporting any crimes you may have witnessed to your local police department. It is only through united efforts can we protect our citizens and bring these criminals to justice.
“A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.” ~ Nelson Mandela in a message announcing 1999 as the United Nations International Year of Older Persons, 17 December 1998

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