Posted: Friday, May 13, 2022. 12:38 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes, Belmopan: There was a standing ovation in the House of Representatives this morning as Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs, Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, introduced the Motion to Seek to Move the Belize Advisory Council to Advise Her Excellency the Governor-General to Exercise the Prerogative of Mercy, 2022.
Balderamos-Garcia noted that “nothing happens before its time; this is the day that the Lord has made,” and said that rather than looking back at the injustice meted out to Nora Parham, 36, in 1963, we look forward to seeing it corrected.
Several of Parham’s surviving sons were in the galleries as Tracey Taegar-Panton, Albert area representative, named several of them. She quoted one, Dean Parham, as saying that the nation should recognize the courage of Parham to strike back against her victim and tormentor, and the importance of walking away from domestic trouble when you can.
Taegar-Panton added that while some have even called for compensation for the family, it, according to Dean, wants to focus on healing – Nora’s sons were split apart in the aftermath of her death and they have waited long enough to put the matter behind them.
Taegar-Panton also noted that while the ruling party’s newspaper at the time spoke of what is right and just, it was not right that Nora was not tried by a jury of her peers; that the process took but four months from incident to execution, with little consideration for Nora’s plight. She offered a formal apology on behalf of the Opposition (which did not exist in that era, having been formed in 1973, 10 years later).
Speakers including Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow; Education Minister Francis Fonseca; Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde; Prime Minister John Briceno and others called for more education on domestic violence and recognized that her surviving sons, despite losing their mother, grew up and contributed to Belize in various ways.
At Balderamos-Garcia’s urging, the motion will be taken through all stages today and with no opposition is expected to pass.
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