Belize Human Rights Defenders Crime and Violence Data

Previous to this a report was circulated that was noted as not exhaustive. We have looked thoroughly through our files and are able to pull together current data that we can verify as having on file or have collected have newspaper clippings. The total cases we have accumulated is 73 and counting from 1997-2012. This does not include data from 2013. What the data should is the following:

1). UPR recommendation speaks to 10 and 11 with regards to assessing and creating a national human rights institution and recommendation 12 which calls for the state to do sensitization training with magistrates and judges etc has value in strengthening individuals to trust our our justice system. especially when dealing with marginalised groups like LGBT citizens, sex workers, ex offenders and young people.

2). The cases of domestic violence among same sex couples, recently Ms. Perez, demonstrate that the domestic violence act needs to have clear wording the extends similair protections for persons in same sex relationships. The murders that have occurred includes crimes of passion and are there to demonstrate the link between the lack of legal protection and individual vulnerability. Otherwise in unequal treatment under the law.

3). It is clear that with the low conviction rates, that follow-up investigations and evidence collection remain weak not only for LGBT murders, but all 300 that have occurred since 2010.

4). The data reveal that while the state does not actively pursue its citizens, the state does not do anything to ensure its L.G.B.T citizens are covered in social legislation or aware of its their legal rights when an officer of the state proceeds to act unprofessional and proceed to abuse the uniform.

5). Homophobia has infiltrated government department like Lands, Immigration and education. Where a student seeks redress for homophobic bullying and support against discrimination in school. The student experience can be exasperated by the head of the school, oppressed for his political position if it contradicts the school position and be rendered with no social justice support. This is what happens to two students who preferred to take their suspension and bullying.

6). Lesbian women may not experience discrimination like their male counterparts, but they do experience family barriers to access an education; verbal attacks towards their children, pressure to get married, family isolation if they done complete their procreative duties and must deal with sexual harassment from men who think they have the power to convert them. Domestic Violence is an internal component as well.

Beyond this, the data collected is subjected to revision as we collect more data, collect personal interviews and continue to compile information collected. The data being circulated is by no means the end, but present a profile that L.G.B.T citizens are impacted by crime and violence and that their experience is grossly unreported and documented. It is my hope that the data is useful by it percentages and overall breakdown. Invisible to this discussion is the amount of trans persons who have experience an attack on their dignity whether by police who refuse to response to their reports or more serious things like sexual violence.

Caleb Orozco
Executive President
United Belize Advocacy Movement

Detailed Report here