Outrage in Belize over video of mentally challenged couple being sexually exploited

Exploitation Red Rubber Stamp On White

BELMOPAN, Belize, Wednesday June 15, 2016 – The Ministry of Health has condemned those responsible for recording and circulating a video showing two mentally challenged people being ordered to perform sexual acts, for a bottle of soda.

The video has been posted on social media.

“The audio on the video reveals that the couple was being encouraged in their actions only to be rewarded with a soda by the persons who were watching and recording the couple performing various sexual acts. The Ministry of Health is appalled at this assault on human dignity and is dismayed that these persons felt comfortable enough to record and share this video to further humiliate this couple and their families,” the ministry said in a statement issued on Monday.

It urged the public to “protest and denounce these types of violations of person’s dignity and rights”.

“In so doing, we can begin to change the culture of stigma, discrimination and victimization of vulnerable persons who live among us,” the statement added.

Police said their hands were tied as far as prosecuting the person who posted the video online.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Chester Williams told the local media that it would be difficult to prove who was responsible.

“I know for a fact there is a law against the proliferation of pornographic materials and the video is posted, I was told, on Facebook…If one should post any pornographic material on any social media site or anywhere in public, they can be charged, but the difficulty we’ll have in instituting charges against those persons will be to prove that they are the ones who actually posted it on the net,” he said.

ACP Williams added that if the two persons in the video were children, or it could be proven that they are not sane, the police would have had more leverage.

In the absence of that, he said, “there is nothing that we can do from a police standpoint”.

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