CARICOM Reparations Commission has granted the Bonaire Human Rights Organization (BHRO)

May 1, 2023  -“With great appreciation Mrs. Davika Bissessar Shaw and Mr. James Finies – on behalf of Bonaire Human Rights Organization, has accepted this honor by the extraordinary invitation by the Chairman of CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles”

Mr. Finies confirmed the acceptance for Bonaire Human Rights Organization as an Associate Member at the historical meeting of CRC held on 25th April 2023 on behalf of his Bonerian ancestors. Our ancestors were forced into slavery, entire enslaved families, men, women, children, and also convicted enslaved ancestors from other Antillean sister islands were sentenced to labor on the saltpans as punishment and were worked to death there on Bonaire.

With a very short life span, with their sweat, blood and tears they cultivated, harvested, and shipped thousands and thousands of tons of this “white gold” -salt- to Holland aka “The Netherlands” to grow their main economic fishing pillar, building their economy and enriching themselves to one of world richest nations. All by our ancestors’ free labor and short-lived lives in these horror salt-plantations. For the sake of reparatory justice, we further received and dedicated this honor in the name of our Bonerian hero, “Martis di Katalina Janga”                                                                                                                  Special Recognition

In his letter of Invitation on behalf of his CARICOM Reparations Commission, Chairman Professor Sir Beckles “recognizes the significant contribution of BHRO in advocating for human rights”

Brief description of CARICOM Reparations Commission:

The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) was established following a decision of the thirty-fourth regular Meeting of the Heads of Government, held in July 2013 in Trinidad and Tobago. The CRC has been tasked with providing advice, coordinating the overall strategy, and implementing national and regional activities to pursue Reparations. This is being implemented through research, public education, preparing the legal case and costing the damages, diplomacy, partnerships with civil society, youth engagement and advocacy.

This is the first time in history that Bonaire has a regional and international representation for human rights at a status as of CARICOM. BHRO will be looking forward to commence working with these great minds of this CRC Commission to bring prosperity to our great region and peoples we call Caribbean, as we all share common histories, trails, traumas, and triumphs. Despite our Dutch colonizer actions to isolate us, we are now reunited as regional neighbors, as we all came on the same boats and as we have, through the years, encountered many of the same hurdles, beat down the same walls, and conquered the same challenges. Indeed, we owe it to ourselves and each other to recognize that we are and always have been in this together.

James Finies                                                                                                                                                                             Davika Bissessar Shaw

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