General / Weekend News

Vigil held for teens that perished in hostel fire

By Benjamin Flowers, Staff Reporter

Relatives and friends of the late Ana Carlos, Elizabeth McKoy, and Shadisha Arnold, who all perished in last weekend’s fire at the Princess Royal Youth Hosyel, held a vigil at the Fort George Memorial Park to honour their lives on Saturday night.

The event, organized by Tiffara Castillo-Molina, was one of several held across Belize. Molina explained that she, along with the Nancy Marin Youth Foundation decided to hold a vigil in a show of solidarity to the mourning families and also in an effort to inspire a change in Belizean response to incidents of the sort.

“I didn’t just want to sit behind my computer and write a long message on Face Book,” Molina said. “We want their names to live on, the family, the traumatized youths at the hostel and the community at large do not want to see this happen again.”

Vigils were also organized in Corozal, San Pedro, San Ignacio and Orange Walk.

On Saturday November 28, an unknown set of circumstances led to the three girls, one of them 14 years old and the other two 16, being burned alive at the youth hostel at mile 21 on the George Price Highway. Since the incident the 
Government of Belize has launched an investigation to ascertain how it came to pass that they were not recovered from the room they were locked in when the fire broke out. This past week GoB announced that they are adding another investigator to the team to assist with its oversight. On Friday the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation said that Ms. Florence Dillett has now joined Ms. Margaret Nicholas in spearheading the investigation. 

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