BELIZE CITY, Thurs. Sept. 17, 2020– The sporting/music and activist community was shocked earlier this week by the sudden passing of brother Nedal “Jihad” Mclaren, reportedly from a heart attack on Tuesday at his farm in the Cayo District.
A former boxer, Nedal won an elimination middleweight series in the 1980s, following the retirement of former champion David Dakers. With boxing going into a long period of dormancy, Nedal was thus the last official middleweight champion of Belize.
A U.S. Army veteran who spent years stationed in Germany, where he continued boxing, Jihad returned to Belize after retiring from service, and became actively involved in a number of community/social and political groups, always in opposition to the status quo in Belizean politics. Having established his own private radio station in Port Loyola, and also much involved in the music production scene, Nedal recently made a concerted effort to seek political office as an independent candidate for the Port Loyola division in the upcoming general elections.
In his staunchly independent approach to everything local, Nedal had flirted with a number of organizations, including COLA, BTV, BPP, and others; but he remained steadfast in his loyalty to what he called the Commoners Movement, where his chief ally and long-time friend was Patrick Rogers, now the leader of the BPP and a candidate in the Pickstock division.
Sometimes extreme or, some might say, radical in his presentations on Facebook, Nedal remained a true believer in Belize and a champion for the downtrodden against the exploiters.
A Belizean giant in his own way, we cannot do justice here to brother Nedal, who has for years been on the frontlines of the public discourse on many national issues, including the ICJ debate, government corruption, crime and unemployment, the Covid-19 pandemic, the LGBT issue, etc.
Never one to shy away from controversy, in a recent fiery post on September 13, he wrote:
“… AS A BLACK MAN, I SHOULD NOT AND CANNOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST OTHERS, AS I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE CALLED NIGGER, AND I KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE TO HAVE TO DEFEND AGAINST NEO NAZI, WHITE SUPREMACY TERRORISM. I WISH THIS FOR NO BELIZEAN, and I wish it for no other. Let the LGBT community be free; they are my brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, and my people. If you, the straight have a problem with us being one, then you have the problem; but let them be free as you are free.
“God is all man equal. F… the preachers; read your Bible, Quran, Torah, and if you do not believe at all, same love for you. Commoners watch no face, skin no teeth, each one teach one, and we breathe the same air.”
And he summed up his outlook thusly:
“As a black man, I truly believe in FREEDOM, Equal Rights and Justice. Democracy is to be fairness.”
Our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of a sincere Belizean patriot. Rest in peace, and rise in glory, brother Murphy Nedal “Jihad” Mclaren!