‘Caso Beatriz’: Central America’s ‘EU’ wants to smash El Salvador’s pro-life law

The Organization of American States is the regional version of the European Union. As such, it has the risk of increasing overreach in sovereign nations. When it comes to the right to life from conception, its judicial branch has leaders that want to undermine that right. In fact, there is currently a court process to pressure Central American nations into eliminating that right altogether.

In the past, the OAS was already able to pressure Costa Rica into legalising IVF, despite the ethical concerns in that Central American Countries. The next step is to use a fake case in order to legalise abortion in El Salvador, where there are no exceptions admitted. “Caso Beatriz” is now being used to end that.

“Beatriz” was pregnant with a child whose brain was not fully formed. She was born and died shortly after. Her mother suffered no harm and died years later in a motorcycle accident. However, pro-abortion activists intend to use her death in order to legalise abortion, as if it were the lack of access that killed her and not the collision.

This case is the next in line after the failure of “Caso Manuela”, where a woman killed her newborn baby and died in jail as a result of cancer. Yet feminist movements used her death to claim that it was a result of lack of access to an abortion, again in El Salvador.

As a result, the Inter-American Court currently has El Salvador on trial. This case shows that, contrary to feminist rhetoric, abortion is not a “women's issue”. In fact, a team of female attorneys has been leading El Salvador's defence.

Lawyers such as these and other professionals are part of a resistance movement that is lobbying in order to protect national sovereignty as well as the right to life. Recently, a multi-national group headed to Washington, DC in order to make sure that civil society was also involved in the decision-making.

I contacted one of the attorneys present at the last OAS session, Attorney Maria del Pilar Vazquez Calva, Founder of the Collective of Free and Sovereign Women, and put some questions to her for Mercator. Her answers follow.

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What is the risk to the sovereignty of nations?

The member nations of the inter-American system have granted jurisdiction to the Inter-American Court and the Inter-American Commission. When accepting to be under the jurisdiction of the Court, nations do so knowing the catalogue of human rights to which they adhere and which they must guarantee to their citizens.

Nations can protect their sovereignty from ideological impositions to which they did not commit and which are neither part of the International Treaties nor part of the Inter-American System.

Is the OAS becoming an intervention agency?

What has happened with the Court and the Inter-American Commission is that they have been pushing "rights" not recognised in the treaties. Both have been taken over by judges and commissioners who impose ideology on human rights. We can call this intervention because the Commission and the Court have gone beyond their mandate and jurisdiction.

What wins have there been as regards sovereignty?

One achievement was that, as a result of negotiations, most of the texts now include terms already agreed upon that do not go against national or international legislation. During the OAS General Assembly, it is possible to talk and approach commissioners, judges, the Secretary-General, ambassadors and ministers by civil society directly. This is an exercise that allows monitoring and being part of the General Assembly. It is through this exercise that the sovereignty of member states can be supported and defended.

What is the next threat?

The Inter-American Court is considering the case Beatriz v El Salvador. The judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights must move away from ideologies imposed by radical groups and backtrack on the case, since it is clearly contrary to international treaties that are binding on most countries in Latin America.


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Beatriz did not die because of her pregnancy. However, the case is to be used for the promotion of abortion, which is violence against women and is not a recognised right within the framework of international law that governs the IAHRS. The judges of the court must adhere to their mandate and recognise the first right of all the inhabitants of our American continent: the right to life.

How does the election of the commissioners influence, and what was the result of the last election?

The election of the commissioners during the General Assembly was one of the most important decisions. The commissioners are in charge of actions that impact the entire American continent. They can make recommendations on human rights to member countries and review, in the first instance, cases of human rights violations. The Commission recommends whether or not to review these cases.

The best thing would be for the Commissioners nominated by the countries themselves to be people with training in international law and human rights. Objective commissioners, not ideological, without previous agendas. But as we have already seen as a result of the Beatriz v El Salvador case, this is not a reality.

In this last General Assembly, four commissioners were voted into power: Edgar Stuardo Ralón Orellana from Guatemala (who is pro-life), Andrea Pochak from Argentina, Christopher Bulkan from Guyana, and Gloria Monique de Mees from Suriname.

What words did you manage to remove, where, and why are words so important?

It was possible to remove terms such as: "sexual and reproductive rights", "comprehensive sexual education", "intersectionality" (or "women or girls in all their diversity") in the declarations and resolutions of the 53rd OAS General Assembly.

Words are important because they encompass concepts. When negotiating, countries must ensure that the concepts are consistent with their national legislation and international treaties of the Inter-American System.

I want to make it clear that the declarations and resolutions conceived during the General Assembly are NOT binding to member states.

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Mamela Fiallo Flor is a university lecturer, translator, and columnist for the PanAm Post. She lives in Ecuador.

Image Credit: Pexels

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  • mrscracker
    I see similar sorts of cases misused to further agendas in other parts of the globe. Mothers dying of sepsis due not to anti-feticide policies but hospitals failing to follow protocols & standards of care. Mothers encouraged to do away with their disabled unborn child but then encountering laws restricting that & being “forced” to deliver a child with disabilities.
    We knew a mother who had twice delivered infants with life limiting disabilities. The first time her doctor had strongly urged feticide & despite that she remained his patient when a second child had the same prenatal diagnosis. She said that she wanted to be a witness to show him the sanctity of life & her commitment to that. I thought that was amazing. I’ve seen the little memorials for those two children at the cemetery. Her family visited often & her surviving children left little toy cars & trucks on their siblings graves. They had the blessing of seeing & holding those infants before they went on to their eternal home & knowing they were a real part of the family.
    Life is sacred but painful too. When we attempt to erase the pain by erasing life itself, we are all deprived.
  • Mamela Fiallo Flor
    published this page in The Latest 2023-07-13 07:49:24 +1000