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Jul 1, 2019

UNIBAM: No Room for Homophobia in Belize Police Department

Caleb Orozco

Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has weighed in on the matter. In a social media post, Simplis Barrow says that discrimination has no place in our communities. She adds that violence of this kind has no place in society. Executive Director for United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) echoed similar sentiments saying there is no room for homophobia in the Belize Police Department.  Orozco is demanding that the Commissioner of Police ensure that there is a thorough, impartial investigation of the entire incident, in particular of the actions of the Police Officers on the scene as well as the actions of the women who were involved in the assault and battery of Gillett.


Caleb Orozco, Executive Director, UNIBAM
“The hear t of the matter is this: misogyny and homophobia has no place in addressing natural justice. If the police department and specifically the Commissioner of Police is in a position to make clear that then I encourage him to do so. I encourage him in fact, we demand we work in addressing, correcting the misogyny and homophobia within his department. He has a responsibility to make clear what the police department position is with regards to dealing with effeminate gay men, in dealing with reports from our community that fundamentally address the enforcement and respect for the rule of law. If he cannot be clear about that then his words in Geneva in 2018 renders hallow. He said that there are a lot of openly gay officers serving in his department; in this case what it demonstrates it that serving openly gay officers in his department have no guarantee of safety or sense of being treated fairly. Or he is not living in the real world. He needs to come back to the ground and explore what are the fundamental problems of discriminatory practice in his department. I challenge him to meaningfully address these things.”


Edward Broaster, Deputy Commissioner (Operations)

“That is in no way close to the truth. Everyone saw the video where from the reports we gathered there were several interventions to prevent several outbursts on the vessel. The officer subsequently subdued the individual who was belligerent in fighting with the passengers in the boat. So I will not associate that with no hate crime. The question is whether or not the officer that did the chokehold followed the procedure we have in place. We have been doing training for police officers in defense tactics so that they can really and truly use the least amount of force necessary to subdue individuals.”

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