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Media Release

Justice For Laddie
Last Updated: January 11, 2023

Now that the trial of Kareem Martinez for the manslaughter of 14-year-old Laddie Gillett has been set for January 23, 2023, it is essential for all Belizeans to carefully follow the arguments and outcomes, The Justice for Laddie Foundation stated.

This trial is not just about the senseless killing of one young Belizean. It has serious implications for the future of policing in Belize, and involves: Transparency, Accountability, Community expectations the Equal application of justice in our country.

Laddie Gillett was on holiday with his family in Placencia when, on the evening of July 14, 2021, as he and a friend were jogging back to his family’s holiday accommodations to comply with a Covid curfew, he was shot in the back by then Belize Police Corporal Kareem Martinez.

Laddie’s innocence was never disputed, and his killing reverberated throughout Belize and abroad, leading to nonviolent, nationwide protests, candlelight vigils, and calls for change.

Ms. Fleming said the number of people involved, the peaceful nature of the demonstrations, and the ways in which Belizeans expressed their frustration and demands for accountability were inspiring.

Laddie's Run


Popular Belize singer-songwriter Stig The Artist recorded “Don’t Shoot, I’m Just A Youth,” the title of which joined “Justice For Laddie” as national slogans, appearing throughout Belize in the media, on billboards, and hundreds of tee shirts.

Justice For Laddie

Community interest in the case continued strongly up to the one-year anniversary of the killing when a national day of mourning was observed throughout Belize.

Crowds gathered in Placencia Village on July 14, 2022, where a permanent memorial park has been established at the site of Laddie’s killing.

Laddie's Memorial Park

The day ended with a nationwide “Shine a Light For Laddie” initiative that saw groups and individuals across Belize and overseas hold candles, lighters, sparklers and flashlights at 8pm Belize time in honour of Laddie’s life.

Shine A Light For Laddie

Since then, there have been sporting events, the construction of a playground at St Andrew’s Primary School and other initiatives in Laddie’s name.

Laddie's Playground

Now that a trial date has been set, public attention on the circumstances surrounding Laddie’s killing has rekindled.

“Even though months have passed since that night of July 14, 2021, the anguish for Laddie’s family and friends, as well as the sense of outrage in communities across Belize is still very fresh,” Laddies adoptive mother Bryony Bradley said.

Laddie's Funeral

“That’s why this trial is so important. It has the potential to not only bring closure to so many people, but to show that no one, whether in a position of authority, wearing a uniform or not, is above the law in Belize.

“We respect the good work the vast majority of our police officers do, and Laddie’s Foundation will continue to honour and highlight Belize’s heroes in uniform. But we need to set positive examples, especially among our young people, that all Belizeans, regardless of age, race, gender, or social standing, have the right to be treated equally and fairly by authorities,” she added.

Policing Efforts

Mrs Bradley said the Foundation will continue to provide updates and information about the trial and any subsequent sentencing.

“Given the importance on this trial to the future of all Belizeans, and especially our youth, we want to make sure that correct, impartial information is available.

“We’ll be posting regular updates on The Foundation’s website, Facebook pages, and in the media,” she said.


Demois Williams: [email protected]

Christy Valdez: [email protected]