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Apr 25, 2016

Is Strong O.A.S. Release a Drafting Blunder?

Late last week, the Organization of American States issued a rare statement. We say rare because the O.A.S. has stoically maintained silence in times of tension, like when Special Police Constable Danny Conorquie was gunned down at Caracol. But not this time, as the O.A.S. release states that it repudiates the killing of the minor at the hands of a B.D.F. patrol. The word repudiate, which means to reject or renounce, is used wrongly – but the gaffe in drafting aside, the PM says he’ll accept it because he’s satisfied that the O.A.S. is doing what it’s supposed to do, release notwithstanding.


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I don’t know who the drafter of the statement is. That word stuck out like a sore thumb and I have to believe that there may have been some difficulty- at first I thought it was originally in Spanish and something may have been lost in translation – I have to believe there is some difficulty with the drafter and that when you look at the rest of the statement it jars…that word is at odds with the balance of the text, so I have to believe that is some sort of a slip. But speaking about the O.A.S. generally, I understand Belizean concern. If it helps, the Guatemalans give the O.A.S. hell too. For me, whatever slipups occur…whatever missteps take place, and in the course of human endeavor slipups and missteps are inevitable, I am very pleased that the O.A.S. is involved in the way it is. I am very pleased that there is their office in the adjacency zone. I am very pleased that they are able to drive, to lead the impartial investigation. When I spoke to Secretary-General Almagro on his visit to Belize last week, I was satisfied that he clearly understands the issues, he seized on all the ramifications.”

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