From October 17th to 19th a group of organizations and individuals from countries of the Greater Caribbean opposed to the application of the capital punishment participated in the International Conference on the Death Penalty in the Greater Caribbean organized in Madrid by the Community of Sant’ Edigio.
Following that event, Caribbean abolitionist organizations and individuals had a meeting in which they decided to initiate the efforts to constitute an organization to unite the entities in the Greater Caribbean, for the coordination, sharing information and establishing joint efforts for the abolition of the death penalty in all Caribbean countries. A Working Committee – constituted by five members – was elected as follows:
- Simeon Sampson SC,
President of the Human Rights Commission of Belize – Belize
- Mr. Mario Polanco,
Director of Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo – Guatemala
- Dr. Lloyd Barnett,
Attorney-at-law – Jamaica
- Mrs. Leela Ramdeen,
Chair of the Catholic Commission for Social Justice – Trinidad & Tobago
- Mr. Carmelo Campos,
Coordinator of the International Affairs Committee of the Puerto Rican Coalition against the Death Penalty – Puerto Rico
The Puerto Rican Coalition was selected by the Working Committee to be its Secretariat.
The initial name of this initiative is “The Greater Caribbean for Life”, reflecting the highest respect to right to live in the struggle against death penalty. The agenda of the Working Committee will concentrate on the following matters:
- To publicize this initiative among the abolitionist international community and international and regional organizations
- To establish effective an communication and collaborative structure with abolitionist organizations and individuals
- To pursue a broad consultation process among those entities and individuals.
- To draft the constituent documents for the regional entity
In fulfillment of these objectives the Working Committee has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding which is set out below:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
WHEREAS at an International Conference on the Death Penalty within the Greater Caribbean held in Madrid, Spain on October 17-19, 2011, the participants consisting of human rights advocates and representatives of civil society organizations from various countries re-affirmed their commitment to fighting against the Death Penalty and State executions;
WHEREAS the participants from countries within the Caribbean Region agreed to work together to establish a sustainable organization and network of persons and civil society organizations who share this objective;
AND WHEREAS the participants elected a Working Group to spearhead such purpose under the ad-hoc name of Greater Caribbean for Life.
IT IS MUTUALLY AGREED and understood that the undersigned, being committed to the said objective will:
- support the efforts of the Working Party to establish a framework for a sustainable regional organization aimed at the elimination of the death penalty and State executions;
- seek to enlist the support and participation of persons and civil society organizations in this endeavour;
- provide the Working Party with suggestions and proposals for the framing of the Constitution and progrmames of the said Network; and
- subscribe to and encourage others to subscribe to the aims and objectives of the regional Network and its establishment.
NAME OF THE ORGANIZATION:
POSITION IN THE ORGANIZATION:
Readers who are desirous of supporting this initiative and furthering the campaign are encouraged to copy and sign the Memorandum of Understanding and sent it to one of the contact persons below. It is imperative that this initiative should be pursued, particularly since in the English-speaking Caribbean there has been much agitation for the implementation of the death penalty and the Governments have opposed the UN Resolutions for the implementation of a moratorium on its implementation as indicated in the Table which follows:
Votes of the countries of the Greater Caribbean
|Antigua and Barbuda||No||No||No|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||No||No||No|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||No||No||No|
|Trinidad and Tobago||No||No||No|
|Yes||11 (44%)||10 (40%)||11 (44%)|
|No||13 (52%)||12 (48%)||11 (44%)|
|Abs||1 (4%)||3 (12%)||3 (12|
The following persons may be contacted for further information:
Mr. Sampson – email@example.com Mr. Polanco – firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Barnett – email@example.com Mrs. Ramdeen – firstname.lastname@example.org Mr. Campos - email@example.com