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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials
The San Pedro Sun
A Fish Fabulous Day on Ambergris Caye
How much fun can you have spending a day fishing? Well, A LOT! What's more fun than catching a mess of fish on AmbergrisCaye, followed by a catch-of-the-day BBQ and a snorkel to cap off the day? Nothin' I tell ya!
Island Students benefit from Reading Program
Reading is essential to a child’s proper mental growth and development, and as such it is important to read to children from a very young age. Doctor Judy Raiford Pantelides is on Ambergris Caye implementing a reading program for preschool children and on Friday, January 9th the first reading was done at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School. 14 students listened attentively as community member and Vice-principal of San Pedro High School (SPHS), Conchita Flota read “Lola Loves Stories” to them. Dr. Pantelides is originally from Virginia, USA, where she carries out a reading program similar to the one being implemented here in San Pedro Town. She has worked as an adjunct professor at Christopher Newport University (CNU) for the past nine years since retiring from the public school system. Dr. Pantelides believes that reading to children stimulates their ability to learn and focus more in school. “I have worked together with a group of Kiwanis in Newport News to begin a Mayor’s Book Club where over 1600 preschool children have about 35 community readers read special books to them each month. For 4-5 months out of the school year, a book is given to every preschool child to take home. Our goal is to provide a diversity of community leaders to share the joy and excitement of reading with the children,” said Dr. Pantelides.
Meet Julian – San Pedro’s First Baby of the New Year
The population of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize is not big enough yet to have a baby born on New Year’s Day, but every year Ambergris Today searches for the FIRST baby to be born in the new year and shower him/her with an array of gifts donated by the business community. After some hunting we finally found our first baby of the New Year. Meet Julian Jacob Pinelo.
Baby Pinelo was born on January 2, 2015 at 2:30a.m. to Jamilet Juan and Roberto Pinelo weighing in at 6 pounds 10 ounces. After Julian and his parents were settled back home the staff of Ambergris Today made it to their home to present him with all his new gifts. Julian was wide awake and happy to receive his gifts.
Make Tepache - Fresh Homemade Pineapple Juice
Tepache is a popular drink in the mestizo community of Belize. It is made from pineapple peels which are fermented to produce a tangy refreshing drink. Tepache is also healthy and great for the body because fermented foods aid in digestion and supports the immune system. It aids in the breakdown of our food, helping the body absorb the important nutrients we rely on to stay healthy! So drink up and enjoy this local favorite.
1 Ripe Pineapple (we will be using only the peels)
1 Half a Cup of Brown Sugar
2 Sticks of Cinnamon
1 ½ of Distilled Water
Letters To The Editor:
Searching for My Family
I am writing as I am looking for any family that I may have in Belize. My name is Raymond Willis Oliver. I live in England and was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, to a woman named Dorothy Willis who was born on 2nd Feb 1941. She had a daughter named Lorraine in 1961 who died and another 2 daughters born in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, one born 4th June 1967 named Tanya. At the time Dorothy was known as Dorothy Willis, formerly Bishop and the father was from Belize. His name was Thaddeus Rexford Gillett.
The other daughter was born on 2nd April 1962 named Juanita, same father and mother but at that time Dorothy was known as Dorothy Gillett. Dorothy Willis and Joseph Gillett married at the civic centre, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England on 15th June 1968. I heard that Dorothy, Thaddeus, Juanita and Tanya went to Belize in 1968.
Celebrity Spotting: American Idol Singer Honeymoons in San Pedro, Belize
American Idol fans might have recognized her while she vacationed in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Former American Idol contestant Kimberly Caldwell just recently celebrated her marriage to professional soccer player Jordan Harvey with a honeymoon in La Isla Bonita.
The celebrity couple got married bringing in the New Year and then immediately came to Belize for their honeymoon. “And it begins! Honeymoon at the #MatachicaResort in Belize”, commented Kimberly on her first honeymoon post on her personal Instagram account on January 3, 2015.
Misc Belizean Sources
Consejo Village Library- Morning Coffee Cafe January 18th
Enjoy a hearty slice of homemade pie or cake, coupled with a bottomless cup of brewed coffee or tea for only $5 BZD.
Happy New Year To Everyone!
To start 2015 off right, we are offering our four most popular pies at the November MCC. The test cakes were received so well, so we are expanding with additional cakes and some surprise desserts.
Pies: Chocolate Cream, Banana Cream, Peanut Butter,Toasted Coconut Cream
Cakes: Fresh Banana Cake w/Caramel Cream Topping, German Chocolate Layer Cake w/ Coconut Pecan Topping
Additional Cakes and Desserts: They are a surprise.
Again, come chat with friends and learn more about CVL, its services, and resources. This is an informal, friendly gathering in a cafe style atmosphere with a “come and leave when you want” style of service. No meeting nor solicitation will be surprised upon you.
Commentary: The persistence of Belize's '4A Policy' involving Guatemala's unfounded claim
By Frank Edward Paco Smith, Jr. (JP). Much ado has been made as a result of the government of Belize’s recent signing of 13 bilateral agreements with the Republic of Guatemala, the only nation which summarily rejects Belize’s territorial integrity. This purportedly “momentous” occurrence took place during the SICA heads of state summit on 17th December 2014 on the Placencia Peninsula in Belize.
In effect, the government of Belize (GOB) endeavoured to sign agreements with our aggressive neighbour to the west that span a variety of topics, in what I can only discern to be yet another hare-brained determination, in a long line of irresponsible and incompetent discernments, as it relates to Guatemala. A full list of these “agreements” can be accessed here. Needless to say, amid the hullaballoo of what summarily amounts to a slap in the face of the Belizean people as well as the basic tenets that accompany being a sovereign nation, with its territory intact, as detailed by our constitution via Part I and Schedule 1 of the Belize Constitution, I dare say that I am not impressed.
HON. OMAR FIGUEROA SWORN IN AS A MINISTER OF STATE
The newly-elected Member of the House of Representatives, HON. OMAR FIGUEROA, was today sworn in as a Minister of State by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, the Governor General of Belize, at Belize House in Belmopan.
Cop Wanted for questioning about Sex with a Minor
PC #860 Patrick O' brien is being sought by Independence Police after a16 year old female was seen naked in a photograph that surfaced on Facebook a week ago. The teen visited the Police Station along with her mother and reported that in June of 2014 while she was still 15 yrs old, the policeman had sexual intercourse with her. Charges are expected to be levied against O'Brien for Unlawful Sexual Intercouse. If his name sounds familiar that is because he was one of several officers implicated in a logwood robbery several weeks ago. He was one of 4 police officers that Alexander Chiac accused of assisting a U.S. National Charlie Sellars, of confiscating and stealing his logwood. No charges have been levied as yet against any of the officers.
Cane Farmers Get Ready To Sign Compromise Agreement; Will BSCFA Survive?
Tonight, the cane crisis continues, but things are beginning to take shape - and all sides are moving closer to signing an agreement. The Cane Farmers Association - fighting for its very survival - is right in the mix. But, tonight, there are credible shows of alternate grower groups, possibly large enough to supply the BSI mill without the cane farmers association.
Still, it's too early to say definitively which model will emerge - but today at a PUP press conference, one of the champions of the Cane Farmers Association, the PUP's representative for Orange Walk South, Jose Mai told the media that the branches have met and are willing to sign with BSI:..
Hon. Jose Mai, OW South
"Jules, as we speak today there are a number of meetings held in the different branches. I attended one of them yesterday. Actually, the agenda was one thing, to get the farmers to sign, to commit that they will accept that they were willing to begin the crop, given the agreements of BSI.
PUP Says Barrow Administration Abandoned BSCFA
And while Mai sees the farmers ultimately sticking with their association - the situation remains very fluid tonight - there are multiple credible reports which show things going in other directions.
But as of news time - we can confirm this: no farmer or group has yet signed with ASR/BSI. As Mai said, they are expected to do so in the next few days - but we still aren't sure what configuration will take precedence in the end.
But, contrary to what Mai said today, the BSCFA may actually be in last place. That's because we are told ASR/BSI has indicated that until the association can present a resolution nullifying its last resolution not to sign - then, ASR/BSI cannot enter a contract with them.
As we reported on Friday, 15 Branch Directors met to consider just this point: whether they should convene another special general meeting just to determine whether they want to go back to the agreement - but they decided instead to have branch meetings where members would vote and report back to the BSCFA. That report will be tabled before the committee of management tomorrow. But, reports to us suggest that ASR/BSI want a firm resolution from a General Assembly - not the results of a survey.
Party Leaders Disagree On How to Deal With ASR
And so the leaders of the nation's two mass parties have very different views on ASR/BSI. Now, that's not surprising - they disagree on just about everything. In fact, last year the only thing they seemed to agree on was the Christmas Cheer program!
But, in this case it's notable, because foreign direct investment is the sacred cow of developing countries. Fonseca says he respects that, but only to a certain point - while Barrow had a very different take. We juxtapose these two views tonight:..
Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister
"These are people who can afford to absorb the loss and walk away from Belize and I am telling you it is quite clear to me that they would do precisely that, if any effort were to be made to compel them."
Supreme Court Opens; Hemorrhages Identified
Today, as is the tradition, the Supreme Court held it's Ceremonial re-opening as it usually does on the second Monday of January every year.
This is third opening that Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin presided over as the Chief Justice of Belize. It's an opportunity for the Judiciary to report to the general public on how its handling civil and criminal cases filed in the court system.
Today's report was filled with the usual tales of woe, but also an outline of possible fixes for a justice system riddled with inefficiencies. Our News Team was there for the ceremony, and Daniel Ortiz reports:
Daniel Ortiz reporting
The Judiciary, Legal Fraternity, and several VIP's all gathered at the Wesley Methodist Church for the 1 hour service.
Technology; The Fix Supreme Court Flaws?
So, now that the Judiciary knows what is wrong with the system, what IS being done to fix it? Well, a Criminal Justice Board has been formed to handle all the problems with the number of backlogged cases.
The idea is to set up a guideline for judges in called the Criminal Procedure Rules, which would allow judges and magistrates to dismiss cases with prolonged delays or a glaring lack of evidence.
This means that the police investigators will have to ensure that the case files for all accused persons are complete, or else the charge will be thrown out, rather than face an endless stream of adjournments:
Justice Kenneth Benjamin - Chief Justice of Belize
"The most significant step has been the drafting of criminal procedure rules. These rules prescribe time limits for the disposition of criminal cases incorporating the principle of active case management by the courts themselves. Under the rules, no person should await trial in Supreme Court for more than 2 years, which shorter time limits being applied to persons in custody and remand and to magistrate court matters tried summarily.
CCJ President Coming To Belize
And a last bit of news coming out of today's ceremonial opening is that the president of the highest court in Belize is coming here for two days.
Viewers may only have heard the name Dennis Byron, but he is the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, headquartered in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
He arrives on Thursday as a guest of the Bar Association of Belize, and will speak at the Law Conference 2015. The Bar President announced it today:
Eamon Courtenay - President of the Bar Association
"The executive of the association, my lord, takes great pride, in having the signal honor of welcome to Belize on Thursday of this week Sir Dennis Byron, the President of the Caribbean Court of Justice. He will be coming to Belize as a guest of the association and will deliver a keynote address at the lunch, at the conference on Friday. We will, during the course of his visit, be having courtesy calls with persons whom he had ask us to arrange."
Fatal Accident On Old Northern Highway
Full of rolling curves and one way passes, The Old Northern Highway remains one of the most dangerous roads in the country. But that wasn't what caused a fatal accident this weekend near Altun Ha. It happened after 6:00 on Saturday evening, at mile 30, by the Altun Ha Junction at Lucky Strike Village. A red Chevy Suburban driven by 65-year-old David Hill, of Rock Stone Pond, lost control of the vehicle and ran off the road.
As a result of the impact, Hill lost consciousness; and was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital. His wife, was treated and released. Police say he didn't hit anything, he appeared to have caught a heart attack and that caused him to lose control on the road.
Police Seized 3 Guns; Arrested 3 Persons
Police say they have taken four guns off Belize City streets since the start of 2015. They include1 .38 Smith & Wesson revolver with four live rounds found near Vernon Street, One .357 Astra Brand revolver and six rounds found in the vicinity of Zericote and Ebony Streets, One 9mm Glock Pistol with 11 rounds found at Brides Alley, and the one we told you about on Friday, a 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol with 7 rounds found on Faber's Road Extension.
Two were labelled "Found Property", while 3 persons were arrested for Kept Firearm and Ammunition without a Gun License in the two other weapons.
A Great Community Police Program
Today 36 police officers attended the Gang Resistance Education and Training program at the Biltmore. We reported on the 145 primary and high school students who graduated from the 13 week program in June of last year. But today the main focus was on the police officers - further training them to impact the lives of more Belizean youth. Coordinator of the training Ron Doyle explained the dual benefits of this program today.
Courtney Weatherburne reporting
Many at risk youths grow up with scenes like these as their defining image of police in the community.
But as part of the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program, these police officers are trying to change that.
Although they are dressed in their uniforms they are not here in the capacity of police officers - but as educators.
Hon Omar: State Minister
The UDP's newest area representative was sworn in as a Minister of State today. This afternoon at 4:00 in Belmopan, Dr. Omar Figueroa, appeared before the Governor General to take the oath of office.
Figueroa who is a jaguar expert and has a Ph.D. in Ecology takes up the deliberately vague post as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister. This modest elevation is seen as a nod to his credentials, and also the fact that he garnered 66% of the vote in a recent Cayo North by-election - the largest margin in that area in half a century. His appointment becomes effective immediately and Figueroa is expected to be invited to attend Cabinet's regular Tuesday meeting tomorrow. Strictly speaking, Ministers of State are not members of Cabinet, but can be invited in for meetings.
B.S.C.F.A. Branches Signing On…
There is some movement, though little happiness, in the sugar industry tonight which has been in crisis for months now resulting in a delay of the 2014 sugar crop. News [...]
…And Branching Off from the B.S.C.F.A.
As Cansino mentioned, there are branches who have decided to disassociate themselves completely from the B.S.C.F.A. Now can they legally do that? Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that they can, [...]
Disbursement of Fairtrade Monies Commences
And that brings us to the Fairtrade disbursement of four million dollars. Up to Friday, we understood that following warnings from that certifying body, Finance Committee Chairman, Javier Keme, had [...]
P.U.P. Condemns G.O.B. for Destroying the Association
As has become apparent, the backs of farmers have been broken by a combination of ASR/B.S.I.’s inflexible stance, and G.O.B.’s deliberate withdrawal from the equation at a critical juncture. In [...]
…Says U.D.P. Fell Asleep At the Wheel
According to Fonseca, the signs of today’s sugar cane debacle were foretold when the government refused to allow cane farmers to purchase controlling shares in B.S.I. He claims that a [...]
Will the B.S.C.F.A. Survive the Crisis?
Even as the Opposition has its say, and expresses full solidarity with and support for the cane farmers of Belize, the fact is that at this point cane farmers have [...]
Supreme Court Opens With New Optimism
The traditional opening of the Supreme Court was held this morning in Belize City with all the usual pageantry and ceremony that are attached to the event. After a service [...]
Bar Association Addresses Concerns at Kolbe
The treatment and conditions of inmates at the Belize Central Prison are serious concerns which the Bar Association has been busy addressing. In November, leading Human Rights Attorney, Joseph Middleton, [...]
AG Promises Bigger Budget for Judiciary
In January 2014, during his presentation at the last opening of the Supreme Court session, Attorney General Wilfred Elrington openly admitted that funding for the judiciary was rather inadequate. While [...]
Bar Association Presidents Calls for Unity
The revised Legal Profession Act caused some stir among members of the Bar Association in September when the amendment resulted in the discontinuation of compulsory attendance. In retrospect, the move [...]
Belizean Nurse Charged with Bronx Homicide
A forty-one year old nurse aide originally from Belize, who worked at the University Nursing Home in New York, has been charged for the killing of a resident of the [...]
Belize City Man Fined for Domestic Dispute
Following the opening of the Supreme Court, a number of cases were dealt with. Forty-five year old Alvin Jones, who had been in police custody since last week Thursday, the [...]
Anti-Social Behaviour Order Under Attack
In this newscast, you’ve heard of charges for Displaying Gang Membership and Associating with a Criminal Gang, but did you know that under the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act [...]
George McKenzie Jr. Served with Unusual Order
Although the order was issued December fifteenth 2014 for the period of one year, it was not until after two this afternoon that McKenzie Junior was taken into police custody [...]
New Officers Receive GREAT Instruction
Belize has received top marks among countries in Central America for its success in the GREAT Program of the Central America Regional Security Initiative to curb crime in the region. [...]
Omar Figueroa Sworn In
Cayo North Area Representative Omar Figueroa has been sworn in as Minister of State in the Barrow administration after soundly defeating P.U.P. opponent Richard Harrison at the polls a week [...]
Sporting highlights with James Adderley
Good Evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. As the mighty La Ruta Maya approaches its 2015 edition, the pre-season is rife with the expected vigorous preparation [...]
BSCFA On Life Support As Some Cane Farmers Opt To Move Away From The Association
Controversy continues to stir within the sugar industry as the negotiation between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and BSI/ASR seems to have been permanently placed in the freezer. Today, while the BSCFA begun issuing checks to farmers and braces for an uncertain future; sugar cane farmers are also worried about their future in the industry. In the immediate future, farmers must brace for yet another loss in their investments as the crop has yet to start. Amid the process for application for a Writ of Mandamus by Lucilo Teck and a handful of other interested parties, farmers face a difficult choice, and as most see it, the only one available given the delicacy of the situation in the sugar industry. Farmers have voted for officials of the BSCFA to not sign the agreement with BSI, but following the Press Conference by the Prime Minister there was a distinct shift in the farmers’ confidence in that vote.
Two New Associations In Town
The news tonight is that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association could possibly see a reduction in its membership as there is now two new associations, Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the United Can Farmers Association. The organizations made the official announcement today at the same time inviting interested cane farmers to join the group. According to Chairman of the Corozal Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Elvis Canul, they are a registered and certified association, a move they finalized following the blessing of the Prime Minister last week. Here is what he told us in an over the phone interview with him this afternoon.
“Tenemos nuestra certificación que estamos registrados como una compañía y estamos preparados para tomar negociaciones como una asociación en esta situación que se encuentra la industria. Tenemos comunicación con United Cane Farmers asi es que y juntamente estamos viendo que nuestros derechos y son reconocidos por la conferencia que dio el Primer Ministro que otorgo que estamos en nuestro derecho de hacer nuestras asociaciones y eso es el algo que CSCFA y UCFA pues ya tienen anos que estaba peleando por eso. Como una asociación tenemos nuestro comité que ha estado atento de todo lo que ha estado pasando con las negociaciones y estamos preparados para negociar directamente con BSI para que nos reconozcan como una asociación. Estamos conscientes del agreement y nosotros estamos dispuestos a firmar hasta cierto nivel nuestra intención nunca fue de que piensen que ay división dentro de los caneros pero ya con esta situación que se ah avanzando pues vamos a air firme como una nueva asociación separado del presente.”
Fourth Minor Charged for Possession Of Controlled Drug
Another police search yielded success as on Saturday around 8:35pm, police searched a man while conducting mobile patrol on Lover's Lane and inside a small pocket on his right foot, police found (4) four small pieces of white buff substance suspected to be crack cocaine. The minor and the suspected drugs were transported to the Orange Walk Police Station where in the presence his father, the suspected drug was weighed amounting to 0.2 grams of crack cocaine. Police have since arrested and charged the 16-year-old male of Palmar Village for the offense of Possession of Controlled Drug.
Nationalization of BSI Is Still An Option For The P.U.P
With the nationalization of the Belize Electricity Limited and Belize Telemedia Limited by the Barrow Administration, there are those who believe that Governments next move should be to nationalize BSI/ASR in order to save the Sugar Industry. Now, the Prime Minister has stated that it’s easier said than done since they are not in a position to change the constitution and GOB does not have the requisite majority in the house. But for the PUP the nationalization of the factory is not something that should be put to rest just yet.
“We hope that that is not an option that has to be explored but we can’t take it off the table. The cane farmers are not, let’s be clear because some people seem to be a little confused, cane farmers are not employees of BSI/ASR, they don’t work for BSI/ASR they are partners with them in the sugar industry and I think that is fundamental difference in understanding between us in the People’s United Party and the present government under Mr. Barrow, he thinks that these are employees of BSI/ASR who are behaving bad and need to be scolded and they should get inline and sign the agreement these are partners in the industry, these people are on equal footing with anybody from ASR/BSI and they must be protected.”
Three Minors Charged For Kept Firearm
Over the weekend Orange walk police made two arrests for violations of drug and illegal firearm possession. On Friday around midday, police searched a house on Mahogany Street, Orange Walk, where they found a pen gun mini flare pistol attached with a min flare cap which is consistent with a .22mm calibre firearm. Police then arrested and charged 22 year old Braulio Sebastian Acosta and three male minors all of Mahogany Street, Trial Farm Village, for Kept Prohibited Firearm.
P.U.P Says GOB Was Out To Destroy BSCFA
As cane farmers prepare to sign the seven years Commercial Agreement with BSI/ASR, there is the sense of feeling that they are making the wrong move, hence they are signing under protest, well at least those who plan to remain under the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association as there is already talk of the formation of two other associations who are currently seeking more membership, the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the United Cane Farmers Association.
If the majority of cane farmers move away from the BSCFA, which has been in existence for more than 50 years, this could mean the demise of the association which is presently on life support. Already the BSCFA is under pressure with the disbursement of the four million dollars in Fair Trade funds.
Without the four million dollars they basically have no money to operate and already 16 employees working under Fair Trade projects have been let go. To make matters worse, the BSCFA now faces a suspension and even a possible de-certification from Fair Trade due to the disbursement of the fund.
Omar Figueroa Sworn In As Minister Of State
Today at the Belize House in Belmopan, newly elected member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Omar Figueroa was sworn in as Minister of State by his Excellency Sir Colville Young, the Governor General of Belize. The follows his victory in Cayo North over his opponent Richard Harrison on January 5th to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of PUP’s Joseph Mahmud in November of last year. According to the release from the Government of Belize, Figueroa’s appointment is immediately in effect.
How The P.U.P Would Deal With Sugar Crisis
Now the question is, if the manufacturer, in this case BSI/ASR packs up and leaves, what next? While the talk is good cane farmers want to see action. So, today Fonseca was asked how he would deal with the sugar crisis, if he would be in the shoes of the Prime Minister. From all accounts he would not be in bed with BSI/ASR.
“We know that the farmers had a very credible plan and all they needed was the support of the government and that was not forthcoming so it depend on how far you want to go back because if we had a PUP government at that time we would have been there for the cane farmers, we would have made sure that every opportunity was provided by the cane farmers for them to own BSI, I really think that the government has not really been engaged in this crisis that has been building over time it has taken over the headlines in the recent months but this has been building up over time, the farmers for a very long time has been calling for the SICB to get engaged in this impasse that exist between them and AS/BSI so the government has not been engaged...
P.U.P Says Barrow Forcing Cane Farmers To Sign Agreement
The current state of the Sugar Industry was widely discussed today during the opposition’s press conference. From the economic impact to political mileage, Leader of the Opposition, Honorable Francis Fonseca, fielded a number of questions from the media. All in all, the message was clear; the P.U.P is in full support of the cane farmers. The Party Leader also had a strong message for the Government of the day as he stated that while the Dean Barrow Administration knows fully well that signing an agreement, as is with BSI/ASR, will be a hard pill for cane farmers to swallow, he is shoving it down their throats.
“The crisis in the sugar industry for us in not an issue which we seek to exploit for any political advantage, our party condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by Prime Minister Barrow and his UDP government to destroy this long establish partnership in the industry, Barrow and the UDP have abandoned the caneros and the Belizean people’s interest and have decidedly sided with the multinational ASR...
Cane Farmers To Sign Commercial Agreement Under Duress
Without the support of the Prime Minister of Belize, cane farmers feel they have been left alone navigating in turbulent waters. About to drown, they have decided to sign the commercial agreement with BSI/ASR under protest. Today the People’s United Party held a press conference in Belize City to discuss the current sugar crisis. During the media briefing, Orange Walk South Area Representative, Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai, stated that with 1.5 million tons of cane out in the fields, cane farmers have no other choice but to throw in the towel and sign the agreement.
“The farmers I believe in their own wisdom have decided to sign the agreement and to stay with the Belize Cane Farmers Association, of course under force measures, it I with a heavy heart that you go and sign your name as a matter of fact I almost signed yesterday but after doing some reflection I said no, I will sign but after I made my statement very clear, I am unhappy and I share this feeling for many farmers and if we have to sign it is with a heavy heart.