Thursday, April 3, 2014

When Belize Opponents Knowledge of International Human Rights System becomes embrassing

April 3rd, 2014

American Scott Stirm circulated an email  that spoke to OAS presentation made by Caleb Orozco of UniBAM and Stephen Diaz of B.Y.E.C on 28th March, 2014. The presentation can be seen here 

The email pointed out the following:

"... that Belize is “perpetuating hate speech,” because someone wrote Orozco a note saying “not even dogs do this.” (9 min 15 sec into video, also 13:30)," but if Scott Stirm listened closely, the presentation spoke to an Amandala article, not to someone writing Orozco. 

The email also spoke to a resolution to ratify the ‘Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity’  at the OAS” last year in Guatemala. (6 min. 10 sec into video)." To show, how these people do not know what they are talking about, its important to note that there were two resolutions, one that spoke to Human Rights Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Gender Expression (AG/RES: XLIII-O/13 2807) and one that spoke to the Inter-American Convention against all Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance (AG/RES. 2804 (XLIII-O/13). There was no such resolution named ‘Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity.  The OAS website further clarified in the following way:

"The 43rd General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is taking place in Antigua, Guatemala, today adopted the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance and opened them for signature."

The email continued with saying that " This resolution was SO EXTREME that the US and Canada, both pro-gay, VOTED AGAINST IT!!"  This is rather confusing because we know that the US and Canada did sponsor  their so called, " Discrimination Against Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity" They of course need to figure out what they are talking about first. 

The email spoke as well in its subject line as "filing a complaint at the OAS". Mr. Stirm, if you simply did your home work, you would know that we did not file a complaint, but made a presentation of our concerns which was constructive, that was designed to raise awareness about areas of concern with the state and offered an opportunity for formal  and informal dialogue. Further more, There is no charge because a hearing is not a petition. The claim referred to the objections raised by Belize to the text of the resolution AG/RES. 2807 (XLIII-O/13) that was adopted by the 43rd General Assembly of the OAS. The resolution was adopted by consensus by the General Assembly, with footnotes of countries that raised objections (but did not abstain because there was not a vote, but a consensual adoption). The resolution was presented by Brazil and co-sponsored by the United States. It was supported by Canada as it results from the acts of the discussion of the General Commission on June 6th 2013, in Antigua, Guatemala. Again, it was adopted by consensus by all 34 OAS member states.

In the hearing there was no reference to failing to ratify the resolution. A resolution is a non-binding legal instrument and cannot be ratified. Only binding instruments of international law (i.e. conventions, treaties, optional or additional protocols) require ratification by member states following signature.

By signing and ratifying on January 8th, 1991 the Charter of the Organization of American States adopted in Bogota, Colombia on April 30th, 1948, whose article 106 establishes the creation of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Belize recognizes the authority of the Commission, also by virtue of section (e) of the preamble of the Constitution of Belize that acknowledge the respect for international law and treaty obligations.

Added to this email was the discussion of American Scott Stirm and Belizean Louis Wade of Plus TV Rise and Shine this morning where Louis Wade spoke of UniBAM giving Belize a Black Eye and the need to declare UniBAM "persona non grata." Louis Wade calling for the "Belizean people to demand the disbanding of UniBAM", is ironic as he made that comment (for the suspension of  right to association) moments after he accused UniBAM of wanting to "take away the rights of others". That seems to be one of his new talking points… disband Unibam (hmm, maybe he likes that Nigera law against pro-LGBT associations?) Furthermore,calling the presentation,"a demonic pack of lies straight from the pits of hell!" led to a level of denial that violence and discrimination is not experience by L.G.B.T citizens in the country. Scott Stirm spoke of our Agenda, but failed to discuss the Dominionists agenda that is shaped by Belize Prayer Network led by George Ferrar whose site spoke of answering to BEAC or Belize Evangelical Association of Churches.

Which by they way is supported by  fringe leader, Rick Joyner, far rights president of The OAK Initiative. How do we know? well the site of Belize Prayer Network tells us. This snapshot shows him admitting  support below:

It is clear when they suggests that only Caleb Orozco have access to the OAS, is to ignore the schedules that existed for the week and the many hearing the IAHRC had from March 24th to March 28th, 2014. The hearings included many presentations about the death penalty, torture, indigenous people, democratic Rule, killing of Journalists, Maternal Health, Criminal Justice, gender-base violence as well as LGBTTI issues. The list can be found below in links at the end of the article.

   The inter-american human rights system was born with the adoption of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in Bogotá, Colombia in April of 1948. The American Declaration was the first international human rights instrument of a general nature. The IACHR was created in 1959 and held its first session in 1960. Since that time and until 2009, the Commission has held 134 sessions, some of them at its headquarters, others in different countries of the Americas.
     The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is a principal and autonomous organ of the Organization of American States (“OAS”) whose mission is to promote and protect human rights in the American hemisphere. It is composed of seven independent members who serve in a personal capacity. Created by the OAS in 1959, the Commission has its headquarters in Washington, D.C. Together with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (“the Court” or “the I/A Court H.R.), installed in 1979, the Commission is one of the institutions within the inter-American system for the protection of human rights (“IAHRS”).
The work of the IACHR rests on three main pillars:

  • the individual petition system;
  • monitoring of the human rights situation in the Member States, and
  • the attention devoted to priority thematic areas.
 The mandate can be further reviewed in detail at the links below that describes the guiding document of the IAHRC. Furthermore, to tell people about our desire to for special rights, takes with the other hand, what both parties have acknowledged with the other hand. They even acknowledge LGBT Human rights in an example where an assault takes place. Stirm and Wade are professional propagandists, who copy messaging for US Evangelicals groups who invert a communication to their advantage,  their skill is so good, even I can believe it, if I don't fact check.

IAHRC Schedule:


Inter-American Convention on Discrimination and Intolerance

Inter-American Cnvention on Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance

Resolution on InterAmerican Convention on Against Racism, Racial Discrimination,  and Related Forms of Intolerance (  AG/RES.2805 XLIIIO/13)

Resolution on Human Rights Sexual Oreintation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

Belize Prayer Network 

Inter-American Human Rights Commission

Thematic Reports of the IAHRC 

Precautionary Measures

Mandate of IAHRC

Channel Five Coverage
State Response 

Civil Society Response 

PlusTv Coverage

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