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#410430 - 06/23/11 03:03 PM P.M. meets with Mexico’s President on electricity
Marty Offline

The bills for the expropriation of B.E.L. were rushed in the House and Senate and by the end of Monday, the Governor General had signed off on them. On Tuesday morning, the Fortis privately owned company, changed hands and went under government control and a new Board and C.E.O. were installed. While the transition went through with relative ease, there are still many hurdles to cross and the legal battles over compensation loom largely in the horizon. But so far we can confirm tonight that Prime Minister Dean Barrow has met with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. The details of the outcome of that meeting have not been confirmed but before departing for Guatemala, the Prime Minister told News Five that “the reason for requesting that bilateral meeting is to talk about CFE and what Mexico and the president can do now to assist us given the public takeover of B.E.L.” including a request to double the credit line of ten million dollars with the Comision Federal de Electricidad and B.E.L. This is to give the government wiggle room as CFE was threatening to cut off supply of electricity since B.E.L. was dangerously close to its credit limit. So as we said, the bilateral meeting with the Mexican president has taken place in the margins of the security conference, the Prime Minister and Minister Doug Singh are attending in Guatemala City. The P.M. is expected to release the details of that meeting on his return on Thursday.

Channel 5


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#410497 - 06/24/11 01:11 PM Re: P.M. meets with Mexico’s President on electricity [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Prime Minister Barrow receives favourable commitment from Mexican President as to Belize’s electricity supply from Mexico

Belmopan, 23rd June, 2011. Returning today from Guatemala City, Prime Minister
Barrow stated his optimism on talks he held with Mexican President Felipe Calderon
on the issue of the supply of electricity to Belize.

Both leaders were in Guatemala City attending an international conference that
pledged support for the Central American Security Strategy, and where both leaders
reiterated their commitment to advance bi lateral cooperation in combating drug
trafficking and organized crime.

Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, reported that his talks with President
Calderon centered mainly on the issue of the supply of electricity from the Comision
Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

Prime Minister Barrow said that the Mexican President made very clear for the
record that he is extremely well disposed to Belize’s request that he intervenes with
CFE in order to secure: 1. Better rates for Belize in terms of the purchase of
electricity from CFE and 2. An increase in the credit ceiling so that it doubles from
10 million to 20 million dollars. Both of those requests, the Prime Minister feels, fell
on fertile ground.

Prime Minister Barrow will now designate Sir Manuel Esquivel as Government’s
point person to go and meet with CFE to work out the new contractual arrangements
that would ensure the continuous uninterrupted supply of electricity to Belize.
Prime Minister Barrow was accompanied by Hon. Doug Singh, Minister of Police
and Public Safety.
------

Government Press Office

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#410504 - 06/24/11 01:37 PM Re: P.M. meets with Mexico’s President on electricity [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Barrow & Calderon: The New Power Deal

Prime Minister Dean Barrow returned from Guatemala City this afternoon. He led a Belize delegation to the Conference to pledge Support for the Central America Security Strategy.

And while Central American state security remains a pressing domestic issue, what most folks at home want to know about is the meeting PM Barrow had in the margins with Mexican President, Felipe Calderon.

As we've been reporting, Barrow scheduled the meeting to ask Calderon about working out some special arrangement between CFE - which is Mexico's state owned power company, and BEL - which is now Belize's state owned power company. A release from the Mexican embassy says that President Calderon reiterated to the Belizean Prime Minister his government's promise to identify alternatives that would allow the continuation of the flow of electricity given Belize's current situation.

That's encouraging, but nonspecific and we caught the Prime Minister at his residence this evening and here's what he had to say:….

PM Dean Barrow
"That's exactly what I requested from the President to have in intervene with CFE so that the ceiling of the letter of credit might be raise so that we may double the credit that is currently available which is 10 million Belize - we want to take that up to 20 million Belize dollars as well though I ask him to talk to CFE about lower rates for Belize - better terms and conditions governing the purchase of electricity from CFE by Belize. The President of course as I understand it does not simply say to CFE do this or do that. They operate a far more complicated than that - it is a democracy. CFE is to some extend autonomous. So what will happen is that the details new arrangements will have o be work out directly between Belize and CFE but the President's assurances of his support mean a great deal and I have no doubt that in fact we will be able to secure both objectives. As I said they were specifically describe and he specifically committed to supporting these request."

According to an official release from the Mexican Embassy, during the meeting, both leaders discussed measures to combat drug trafficking and organized crime.

And talk of border security led to a discussion about the new Belize-Mexico border crossing, called on the Mexican side, "Subteniente Lopez 2". It is linked to a new bridge across the Rio Hondo, just west of the present one, which will connect Mexico and Belize.

The bridge is finished and now both countries have to build their border facilities - and Mexico has built the connecting road to those facilities on both sides. Belize's border facilities will be financed by CABEI, while Mexico is halfway through building its facilities.

But before we cross that bridge - the Prime Minister also weighed in on the fiery release sent out by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry condemning the acquisition of BEL.

The Prime Minister said the Chamber is acting like a prisoner of ideology:….

PM Dean Barrow
"The Chamber strikes me as either a prisoner of ideology or extremely shallow. The Chamber doesn't seem to be prepared to accept that in western style democracies - in countries that are democratic in the way we understand democracy to work. This ability of the state - this authority of the state - this legal power of the state to acquire private property for a public good is well accepted and is of ancient vintage. There is nothing new about this. We pass a special law to deal with this one but we have the compulsory acquisition act - we have two compulsory acquisition acts. In the state you have eminent domain - any number of legislative instruments that allow the state to take private property for public good as long as it is for public good and as long as the private property owner is going to be compensated. The Chamber needs to get with it. The Chamber - the rant, the quarrelsome press release that they put out doesn't seem to accept that principle at all. You can't claim to be a social partner if you will allow yourself to be motivated by ideology and have that be paramount so as to put you in a position where you even refuse to contemplate that governments and countries have to act at all times in their national interest."

Later on in the newscast - we'll have comments from John Avery the chairman of the PUC on the regulatory even that led to BEL's financial troubles….

Channel 7


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