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Home Letters Retired female captain pushes for petition to investigate sexual violence in BDF

Retired female captain pushes for petition to investigate sexual violence in BDF

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Dear Editor,
My apologies if anyone feels that they have no power to influence an independent investigation into the years of alleged sexual assault in the Belize Defence Force.

As a SURVIVOR of the Belize Defence Force and the toxic environment created for the women charged with defending the sovereignty of our country, I urge you all to please sign a petition to urge the Human Rights Commission to conduct a full investigation into the human rights violations and make legal and structural steps which the Belizean government can take to eradicate sexual violence within the military, including reviewing any decision not to prosecute sexual assault allegations from the Chain of Command.

Regarding a press release issued by the Ministry of National Security regarding the creation and assignment of a national security team to investigate a national security entity, while I am not questioning the integrity of the persons on the team, in an effort to encourage transparency, I still believe that there needs to be the presence of an independent and impartial team to accompany the investigation.

On Saturday, I meet with the board of the Human Rights Commission with this petition to further discuss a way forward.

To encourage transparency, I am still requesting that the Human Rights Commission spearheads the call for a full, independent and impartial investigation into these human rights violations and to recommend that legal and structural steps be taken by the government of Belize to eradicate sexual violence within the military.

Please sign and share this petition. Any threat to the military is a threat to our national security — even sexual and mental threats.

Derricia Castillo-Salazar
Captain (retired) Belize Defence Force

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