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Jun 6, 2016

Was it Food Poisoning or Suicide?

Caleb Orozco

For LGBT activist Caleb Orozco, only the results of a post-mortem examination will provide some reasonable clarity, but the death in itself highlights what was Vanessa Champagne Paris’ very difficult life of often violent condemnation. Orozco who himself has been the target of hate attacks, told News Five that he hopes Vanessa is afforded more dignity in death that she was in life.


Caleb Orozco, Activist, LGBT Community

“I learned that Vanessa was complaining of stomach pains. Her father had taken her to the regional hospital in Dangriga where she had died. The circumstance behind the death, whether it was food poisoning or whether some other form, cannot be ascertained until a post-mortem is conducted. From what I knew about Vanessa – she had lived with me for several weeks – she had always said that she preferred to die being herself than anybody else. Learning of her death Saturday night rings true that statement she made to me. What was interesting about Vanessa was that the burden of defending and protecting her dignity did not come from state systems, it came from herself. She accepted violence as part of being honest with who she was, and she saw how many people lost their humanity in the indifference they showed her as she lived her life. One of the things I’m now concerned with is will she have the dignity in death that she did not have in life? And will people treat her death with some level of respect befitting of her internal desire of who she was. That is an aspiration of not only Vanessa but an aspiration of all LGBT individuals who carry the burden and know that state systems have not acknowledged that they have a right to defence and protection of their fundamental rights, and as such the work will continue in terms of what we do with situations that are extremely difficult that are not acknowledged by the state systems for what it is, and that is the indifference with which state systems treat its own LGBT citizens.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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