On Friday the Belize Commission: Initiative for Justice and Reparation held a National Convention, at the UB Campus, in Belmopan, to engage the four major groups that were affected, in different ways, by the colonial rule of the United kingdom. Their purpose- to prepare an assessment of damages to marginalized groups during the colonial period and seek atonement from the UK for crimes committed against them.
When slavery was abolished in the year 1834 it did not put an end to the long years of suffering under the colonial rule; nor did the suffering end when the system of indentured servants was stopped in 1917. The sons and daughters of the oppressed were to inherit their suffering long after the colonial era.
It is under this philosophy that at the 32nd Summit Conference of Government, held in July of last year in Trinidad and Tobago, 13 CARICOM member countries, including Belize, joined in a campaign to seek atonement for the effects of native genocide and slavery.
Major affected groups also include the Maya, the Garinagu and the Belize East Indian.
The commission became inactive after the passing of their lead commissioner Ambassador Adalbert Tucker.
They are now calling on the Government to appoint a new lead commissioner to take up this mantel.
The main focus of this regional campaign is to seek dialogue and a polite request for atonement from the European Nations, however legal action is not out of the question.