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#324267 - 02/18/09 09:54 PM Over 100 workers of South Beach protest
Marty Offline
It’s a project that has been under the microscope since late last year due to environmental concerns. The South Beach project on San Pedro Town is back in the news today and it is not getting rave reviews. This time it is because the over one hundred construction workers, in a preemptive strike, took to the streets of the island to protest what they term as eventual unemployment. But while the workers were acting on fear of losing their jobs, South Beach is saying there could be nothing further away from the truth. In fact, according to their attorney, the project is set to start as soon as certain conditions are met and the only problem they have at this time is a slight delay. Marion Ali visited San Pedro to find out what all the fuss was about.

Marion Ali, Reporting
The construction workers paraded from Reef Village, a sister company to the South Beach project towards the centre of Town. But they never made it because San Pedro police dispersed the crowd within minutes after the protest had begun.

According to Officer Commanding the San Pedro Police Station, Superintendent Dennis Arnold, the protestors did not have the required documents to conduct their protest. Arnold told us off-camera that in order to conduct a demonstration legally, one needs to get the permission of the police at least thirty-six hours in advance of the planned event. But even though the demonstration was brought to a halt, a couple of the protestors still felt their message got across.

Edwardo Vasquez, Protestor
“We are interested in more jobs because lot of people need the jobs. So that’s what we were looking into. The project is much bigger than this and we almost finish here at Reef Village. So the protest is exactly so that we can have a prepared job for a lot of workers.”

Marion Ali
“But why did you see the need to protest?”

Edwardo Vasquez
“The thing is some people here in San Pedro, especially San Pedranos are not with us. They are the people that don’t want the South Beach get approved. That’s why we were doing this protests so that they can see its necessary for our workers.”

Marion Ali
“What you mean they’re not with you?”

Edwardo Vasquez
“Well, they against this project, south Beach, they are saying they noh really want this project go on.”

Dillon Michael, Protestor
“Deh di complain bout dehn di—well I noh really know dah who dah di people dehn—dehn di complain bout di building ah di place and di areas, bout di mangroves. But deh got other areas weh deh could protect. Dis area dah wah nice area and ih wah benefit di tourists, ih wah benefit we di Belizean and other people families out there. So I noh si why dehn want stop di project from happen.”

One of those people is this man, who goes by the nickname “Moose”.

Moose
“The lagoons provide the life for our reef. Without our reef being alive, we lose tourism in this whole country. I can see problems with South Beach and their dredging when they do eventually, if they are allowed to, they will eventually dredge for that project. Silt from dredging anywhere on any barrier reef on this project can drift at least eight to ten miles on the average which means Hol Chan Marine Reserve, from which I understand is right on the border of the South Beach project plan, that will be destroyed. That will help bring the demise of our reef and if tourism dies in San Pedro, tourism dies in all of Belize.”

But that will not happen according to Legal Advisor for South Beach, Arthur Saldivar.

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney, South Beach Development Corp.
“After complying with all the legal requirements established under the laws of Belize, that South Beach Development Corporation was given on approval of its E.I.A. and the E.C.P., which is required before development commences. So the situation that occurred this morning was as a result of misinformation and mischief. I cannot at this point state exactly where it came from but I believe that given what we have in relation to the signed documentation from the government of Belize and from the Department of the Environment regarding our EIA, that our workers and those persons who seek employment opportunities in San Pedro need not fear. The parameters within which the developers must work is clearly laid out and at all times D.O.E. is in control.”

Marion Ali
“But is the project delayed?”

Arthur Saldivar
“Well whether a project is delayed or not, again…”

Marion Ali
“That is there concern, that after this project at Reef Village ends, until South Beach comes on stream they will have nothing. They will not have that steady income.”

Arthur Saldivar
“Well, at this time Reef Village is not completed as yet, there’s still work at Reef Village. It’s coming to an end yes, it’s almost built out but the approval is in place for South Beach so there should not be a long transition period from Reef Village to South Beach.”

Saldivar says the development will come in phases and will be a project that will put Belize’s tourism industry at the level it ought to be. Reporting for News Five, Marion Ali.

News Five tried to reach the Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, to get the Department of Environment’s position but our efforts were futile.

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#324274 - 02/18/09 10:06 PM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Marty]
Sarahvch Offline
Where can I find more information on dredging (how it is done) and the effects of dredging. I am honestly uninformed on the subject and only know what a few locals from resorts (north side) have told me when I asked about the sea grass. I would like to find more information that would help me understand both sides, how it is done and so on that relate specifically to AC.
Sorry if this is off topic.

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#324277 - 02/18/09 10:26 PM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Sarahvch]
SP Daily Offline
Start with google

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#324279 - 02/18/09 10:42 PM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: SP Daily]
Short Offline
I have seen this shameful display; drug users, illegals, and the usual beggars. Jeff Pierce has been going around town offering money to people who wanted to participate in his protest march. Wonder how long the people of San Pedro are willing to accept his BS. He is alienating from everybody on the Island.

Today at 5pm there will be a meeting from the AMBERGRIS CAYE CITIZENS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT in the Lions Den.
_________________________
Live and let live

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#324280 - 02/18/09 10:50 PM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Short]
Barnacle Offline
i thought it suspect the first time i read it.
all though it is not below developers to slap t-shirts on anyone who will march in their favor for 10 bucks, why would they do it after the approval?
and if the hammer swingers are indeed acting on their own behalf, don't they know that the public has absolutely no say in what developers can and will do?

",,,,but our efforts were futile."

sorry,, i am just disgruntled,,,

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#324295 - 02/19/09 01:09 AM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Barnacle]
SimonB Offline
I was told by one of my employees that there was another interview where one of the protesters was asked why they were protesting and they said "because the boss man told us to" and something along the lines of "if we don't we'll be put out of work."

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#324297 - 02/19/09 02:12 AM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Sarahvch]
sweetjane Offline
Originally Posted By: Sarahvch
Where can I find more information on dredging (how it is done) and the effects of dredging. I am honestly uninformed on the subject and only know what a few locals from resorts (north side) have told me when I asked about the sea grass.


(sorry everyone, but she asked....)

http://www.mangroveactionproject.org/new...eserve-and-reef

http://ambergriscaye.com/art/GreenReefOpenLetter.pdf

http://belizenews.com/pdfs/Pelican_Review.pdf

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#324298 - 02/19/09 02:16 AM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: Short]
sweetjane Offline
Originally Posted By: Short
I have seen this shameful display; drug users, illegals, and the usual beggars. Jeff Pierce has been going around town offering money to people who wanted to participate in his protest march. Wonder how long the people of San Pedro are willing to accept his BS. He is alienating from everybody on the Island.[/b]


i just thought this needed to be said again.

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#324324 - 02/19/09 05:30 AM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: sweetjane]
ScubaLdy Offline
Tonight’s meeting was great. Even more people this week. There will be another one again next Wednesday night – again at 5:00 at the Lions Den. They have two videos showing the abundance of life in that wetland where the developer contents there is no life. Some of Jeff Pierce’s past projects were discussed. You can do research on the internet.


Minister Manuel Heredia Jr. was there and vowed that he would see to it that Reef Village adhered to all the laws and regulations. It was reported that even though he has not been given final approval nor has he paid the bond that is required before any constructions is done he as moved materials into the area. Supposedly there will be a stop put to that tomorrow.

The committee posted the list of their officers who will serve one year terms. T-Shirts have been made and are selling for $20 BZ each as a means of raising funds and spreading the word.


This is a very dedicated and committed group of people. If you care about the future of this island I urge you to sign up to become a member. (I’ll try to get you and e-mail address tomorrow). The group is not just targeting Reef Village – they are dedicated to overseeing all development and protecting their homeland.
_________________________
Harriette
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

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#324346 - 02/19/09 03:11 PM Re: Over 100 workers of South Beach protest [Re: ScubaLdy]
Belize-N-Us Offline
Note to self.......Never get Harriette really mad at me.

Now having said that, what does this group propose as an acceptable development of the area in question?

Why is this area so important when compared to other areas some of which are even larger such as the ones to the west of town.

The west side developments may also affect Hol Chan and certainly will increase traffic / congestion on the island.

When was the last time anyone from this group spent any amount of time actually on this area in question other than to document Jeff's activities?

When was the last time anyone from this group tried to visit the Marco Gonzalez site?

When was the last time anyone from this group tried to just walk across this area?

When was the last time anyone from this group even rode a cart further south than Joe's Gro?

What type of plant / wild life lived where the members of this group currently live?

I don't really know Jeff (only met him once) and I'm not sure exactly how I feel about SBB but these are just a few straight forward questions that deserve straight forward answers.



Edited by Belize-N-Us (02/19/09 03:13 PM)
_________________________
Future full time Belizeans
Tommy & Sonia Blackledge
Magee, MS 601-849-1918

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