Headline — 12 May 2018 — by Rowland A. Parks
CitCo’s HR and Admin Director’s vehicle firebombed

The attack came just after the City Council terminated 5 employees

BELIZE CITY, Thurs. May 10, 2018– Last night, Sharlene Rudon, the Belize City Council’s Director of Human Resources and Administration, awoke to a most frightening reality: she looked outside and saw flames on her 2008 Ford Escape, valued at $17,000. The vehicle was parked in front of her residence on a street in the Kings Park area.

Fortunately for Rudon, she, her brother and her neighbors were able to extinguish the blaze that had started on the front portion of her SUV.

Neighbors suspect that the culprit is a man, with his face covered, who they saw jump into a waiting vehicle and speed out of the area.

Rudon has been working at City Hall for the past 26 years, and has served Belize City under both the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP), without any problem.

The attack on Rudon signals a chilling reality that has crept into the political life in a Belize City that is already besieged by too much violence.

Late this evening, the Belize City Council Public Relations Department issued a statement on the arson attack against Rudon.

The statement noted that the incident occurred around 10:30 p.m… “It was clearly a deliberate and dangerous act of arson, and there can be no doubt that it is directly related to the recent restructuring of the Council, which has resulted in the termination of five employees,” the release stated.

The release adds, “The Council condemns this reprehensible act, which we view as no less than domestic terrorism, carried out no doubt by an agent or agents acting on behalf of one or more of the persons terminated.”

It was noted that a certain climate of animosity toward Ms. Rudon had been created by certain UDP supporters. The City Council release said that “On Wednesday, known UDP operatives, including the editor of the Guardian newspaper, and a thug named Brian ‘Yellowman’ Lord, were on social media, viciously attacking Ms. Rudon.”

The press statement ends, saying, “The Council calls on the police to leave no stone unturned in its investigation. Actions of this nature can no longer be tolerated, particularly in the current climate in the city in which violence has become the rule, and not the exception.”

 In a telephone interview this evening, Rudon told us that after the terminations at City Council, she had been viciously attacked in social media.

Amandala asked her who was attacking her, but Rudon said she would rather not call any names.

We asked Rudon if she thought that the attack was politically motivated.

“I don’t know what to make of it. I am a professional who has been doing my job for the past 26 years. I have worked with both political parties. I give my all to whoever is in the organization, and serve the residents of the city,” Rudon said.

Rudon said last night she heard her brother calling out to her, and “when I look out, I saw the bonnet of my vehicle on fire. I was traumatized, because I am not used to things like that.”

Rudon said she called the Fire Department and the police, and “of course, the neighbors came out.”

We asked Rudon if the City Council had provided her with security after the attack last night.

“I must say the Mayor and his team have really reached out to me, and I am grateful to them. But at the end of the day, the Council made a decision. I didn’t make that decision. I am only carrying out directives that were given to me, as I have done in the past with the former administration as well,” Rudon explained.

“I have to be very careful from now on, because I feel violated,” Rudon ended.

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Deshawn Swasey

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