By BBN Staff: The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) has condemned the arrest of its former leader Nigel Petillo, following his land rights advocacy activity held on Sunday, May 17.
BGYEA issued a statement today, clarifying that the organization is in no way involved with Petillo’s advocacy at the Cotton Tree community located at Mile 44 on the George Price Highway, but that the association none the less denounces his arrest.
“Especially at this time of a global pandemic, many other countries are placing a moratorium on arrests for minor offences. We urge that we must seek solutions based on conflict resolution, mediation, and peace building. This will make us all more safe,” BGYEA said.
The association also said that it remains in solidarity with Belizeans trying to obtain land but cautioned all Belizeans, especially its members, to partake in initiatives safely, wear masks while out in public, and practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Petillo drew hundreds of people to Cotton Tree on Sunday, to have them register their names in the land advocacy project; however, police arrived at the scene and explained the gathering was illegal under the current State of Emergency regulations.