History of the Greater Caribbean for Life
– A new approach in the struggle for capital abolition
Until recently, the struggle for the abolition of death penalty had been carry out in an isolated manner in the various Caribbean countries.
In 2007, a large delegation from the Puerto Rican Coalition against the Death Penalty and the Puerto Rico Bar Association participated in the 3rd World Congress against the Death Penalty, held in Paris, France. On this occasion it was noticed that, apart from that delegation, only a handful of participants had come from the Greater Caribbean Region. Henceforth, a group of Puerto Rican activists started working with international abolitionist organizations such as the World Coalition against the Death Penalty, Saint Egidio Community, the International Commission against the Death Penalty, the Death Penalty Project and Amnesty International, pointing out the importance of the Caribbean region in the abolitionist struggle.
The First Greater Caribbean Conference against the Death Penalty was held in Madrid, Spain in October 011, with the support of the international abolitionist community. The participants, consisting of human rights advocates and representatives of civil society organizations from various Caribbean countries, re-affirmed their commitment to fighting for the abolition of the death penalty and agreed to work together to establish a sustainable organization and network of persons and civil society organizations who share this objective. A Working Group with representatives from 4 Caribbean countries was elected to spearhead such purpose under the interim name of Greater Caribbean for Life.
Efforts by the working group gave another strong impetus to the formal constitution of a regional abolitionist organization, and two years later, at the Second Greater Caribbean Conference against the Death Penalty organized in Trinidad & Tobago on the 2nd and 3rd of October 2013, with the participation of activists and organizations from 12 Caribbean countries, the Greater Caribbean for Life Organisation (GCL) was officially created.
The constituting members adopted the GCL’s Constitution laying out the organization’s fundamental principles, including its vision and mission and elected an Executive Committee of 7 members to lead the organisation’s work.