Ok, so far in the news tonight we've shown you the ruction and tear gas at the Tower Hill Bridge when the PUP tried to block it.

And then, we showed you the major political announcement from Gaspar Vega who's planning a political comeback, it seems.

But the main event really was the competing mass party events: the PUP had a protest against, while Vega's people set up a rally for him in front of his house. Jules Vasquez and Angel Noble covered all corners of this story:..

Jules Vasquez reporting
When the PUP protest moved off at around 9:30 AM it was only a few hundred people. John Briceno bolted out.

As the Orange Walk leaders took the front. It was a northern caucus event, but there was definitely a national presence - there were as many as 40 busses from different areas.

Regular uniformed police had a very visible and numerous presence. They were everywhere between Lorenzo Road - and Clark Street - which is Where Gaspar Vega and his relatives live - The two roads run perpendicular to each other.

And Clark Street is where a small gathering of UDP supporters gathered in front of one of the Vega family homes.

They were waiting for Vega to come out of his house and speak to them.

The special Patrol Unit had a permanent presence in front of Vega's House

And if you are wondering who would support someone who seems so politically radioactive. Wilfredo Novelo is one of them:

Wilfredo Novelo, Vega supporter
"I do not doubt that there may have been some sort of mishandling of the lands department, because any and every elected politician in the past and maybe in the future will indulge in the same type of activity."

Reporter
"In that case sir, you are saying you are here to support the integrity of Mr. Vega but you're saying maybe it did happened, but you are still here to support him?"

Wilfredo Novelo, Vega supporter
"I am here to support Mr. Vega as a hard working leader. The crowd maybe small, but the heart is big."

And that heart was ready to skip a few beats

But police made sure the PUP crowd did not leak over from Lorenzo Road - where the PUP were animated if somewhat divided on the Vega issue:

Jose Mai, PUP Ow South
"We're tired of corruption. This is just blatant exaggerated overwhelming corruption and people have come out to show that enough is enough."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"But at the same time Abi, you can't kill a man who is already dead. Gaspar Vega in a political sense is already dead. He's been stripped of his ministries. He is not running again. What is your objective that you are trying to achieve here?"

Jose Mai, PUP Ow South
"The prime minister needs to ask him to resign."

Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader
"But this is not about Mr. Vega. This is about Dean Barrow and the UDP government. This is just a tip of the iceberg."

Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South Rep.
"I think Vega is insignificant to the formula. The formula is to change the government, because in cabinet Dean Barrow is the person that makes all decisions. So he is the one in my opinion that is responsible for everything. But this is a good start."

Hon. Oscar Requena, PUP Toledo West Representative
"Today is an opportunity where the Belizean people are coming out and telling Mr. Barrow and the UDP. We must bear in mind that today it's not about Gaspar Vega. The buck stops at Mr. Barrow and the UDP."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Are you all able to do anything to force the prime minister's hand the same way when the UDP was in opposition ten years ago and all these scandals were coming out about the then PUP. The UDP joined up with social partners and forced the government to act. What can and will you all do?"

Hon. Jose Mai, PUP Ow South
"Everything is on the table today. This is only the beginning of a sustain plan to tell him to get out."

Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader
"We've been conversations, in discussion with the social partners. The social partners have their own methods of doing things. They take a longer time to respond. We in the PUP just over the weekend, the people from Orange Walk North said that they wanted to show their disgust about their area representative and the northern caucus decided to quickly jump in. So we can move quicker than the social partners. The social partners are starting to have meetings with their groups, the teachers, the unions, the chamber and we are starting the discussions with them and we hope that we can build on this to make sure that the prime minister understand enough is enough. Basta ya! We've had enough."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"But at the same time as a political party you must work in a tactical way. Mr. Vega - you can't kill a man who is already dead."

Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South Rep.
"I tend to agree. But you have something that brings out the rath in people and he is one of them and in the north he is a symbol of corruption and in the country he is a symbol of corruption. So I think it's a start, but as I've said before it is not the ultimate goal. We will not do Barrow's job to deal with Vega. He has to deal with Vega. Our job is to bring down Barrow and the United Democratic Party and that's why we are here."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Is the PUP serious sir?"

Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South Rep.
"I am always serious."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"You are not the PUP. You are a member of the PUP."

Hon. Julius Espat, PUP Cayo South Rep.
"I am a member of the PUP, so the PUP is serious."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Is the PUP able to finance this?"

Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader
"Right here this is the people's money. People have been donating $100, $500 and that is what we are doing and we are going to be working with the help of the Belizean people. We have no outside money, but money does not buy you love."

But it might get you extra police protection and consideration.

Vega's crowd had no protest permit - and the PUP had reportedly asked to protest right down Clark Street in front of his home:

ACP Edward Broaster, Commander - Operations
"There were concerns."

Reporter
"What was those concerns sir?"

ACP Edward Broaster, Commander - Operations
"For the obvious reason: we don't want the two to collide with each other."

Reporter
"Did they request to pass in front of the Hon. Gaspar Vega's house?"

Sr. Supt Dennis Arnold, Commander - Northern Region
"Yes they wanted to."

Reporter
"Why were they denied if it's a public street?"

Sr. Supt Dennis Arnold, Commander - Northern Region
"As you can see it, it is rhetoric question. You see the crowd out here."

Reporter
"So why do you allow one crowd to be in front of Gaspar Vega's house and you are not allowing the other one to pass?"

Sr. Supt Dennis Arnold
"Mr. Broaster answered that question for you just now. We are not allowing anything."

Reporter
"You are allowing an illegal gathering. They are there. The evidence is there in front of you."

ACP Edward Broaster, Commander - Operations
"Listen we are not allowing any illegal gathering. We already gave them the warning that we need to give them and we are giving them time to deal with the warning that we have them."

Reporter
"You are not telling them to disperse."

ACP Edward Broaster, Commander - Operations
"We told them to move already."

And they moved right after that into the arms of Gaspar Vega who exited his house along with his wife - into the crowd of eager supporters.

Now, that's politics- no matter how toxic or widely criticized a politician may be, he always has hard core supporters, flesh to press and babies to kiss.

It was a small crowd, less than a hundred - and Vega was determined to individually greet every single one of them.

Hon. Gaspar Vega, UDP OW North
"It's ahm very emotional to see the love, the sincerity of the people of Orange Walk North."

Reporter
"The country has been waiting a long time to hear from you."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Mr. Vega, how you feel about all the things said about you right now? Is it fair, unfair, true, untrue?"

Hon. Gaspar Vega, UDP OW North
"Let me answer Mr. Jules. Jules when I first got into politics it was a brand new business for me, a brand new profession, a brand new career, brand new whatever you want to call it. I wasn't prepared for it, to be sincere. Of course I am going to tell you that it is not fair, because that's not what I expected."

Reporter
"Scandals keep coming up in terms of land fraudulently being given to your relatives. What's the extent of that? What happened there?"

Hon. Gaspar Vega, UDP OW North
"I said that I don't want anyone to drag me into anything I don't want to speak about, but let me clarify something: if I give tens of thousands of lands or a hundred or a thousand decide to sell or give it away, I don't have any control over that."

Reporter
"Sir, are you not ashamed of you name and your legacy? Aren't you ashamed to show your face in public?"

Hon. Gaspar Vega, UDP OW North
"I will not answer that."

Reporter
"It has turned out that a lot of that land ended up in the hands of your own relatives."

Hon. Gaspar Vega, UDP OW North
"Wait. Enough."

He'd had enough - and walked into the embrace of more support - much easier than answering tough questions and he had his colleagues John Saldivar and Angel Cal were there to support him:

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Why did you feel it important to come out here today?"

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"As I said earlier to stop the hypocrisy that is known as Johnny Briceno and the PUP for them to have the audacity to think that they can come here and demand that our colleague resign after all that they have done to this country including Hon. John Briceno, including Said Musa who has been nothing less than a malignant tumor by the highest court in our country."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"But I thought, I always thought that UDP held itself to a higher standard of integrity and self-propriety in office."

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"And certainly Gaspar Vega has been accused but he has not been found guilty of any worm doing or corruption, except of course in the court of media opinion. Whenever the time comes for Gaspar Vega to defend himself in any court of law if that's where it reaches, I'm sure he will be able to acquit himself adequately."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Sir, but you run the public opinion court as well."

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"And that is what is proving here today. Whenever Monchie Cervantes thinks he can beat Gaspar Vega he can come at the next election time. That is where the court of public opinion has its say."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"So you would support Mr. Vega if he say I want to run again in Orange Walk North?"

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"I have absolutely no difficulty if Mr. Vega wants to run again in Orange Walk North."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"Sir we have to agree with certain facts; Mr. Vega was forced to resign from your cabinet at the time when he was the deputy prime minister."

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"I will not deal with your view of what took place then. He is no longer in cabinet. He can speak for himself, but I am not sure that he was forced."

Jules Vasquez, reporter
"You have leadership aspirations yourself. Explain to me: aren't you afraid that perhaps the contagion that has affected Mr. Vega in the court of public opinion, will also now taint you because you are standing up for him?"

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"Absolutely not. As I have told you, you guys may have convicted him, but I am sure that the public opinion has not done likewise. But I think a lot of times the media like to think that they are the electorate, but the electorate will show itself on election day."

"I am not going to get into of the accusations that have been made against him. He will answer for that if and when the times comes. He has certainly said that he has done nothing wrong and the court of public opinion will have their say if he were to run again on election day and that is when it really matters, not what the media thinks about him."

Reporter
"However the officer of the prime minister has pronounce itself in relation to some of these same issues. For instance the $400,000 compensation that must be returned by Andre Vega and he is being taken to court for that."

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"And I am sure you know the difference between Andre Vega and Gapi Vega."

Reporter
"But it happened under his father while he was the minister of lands."

Hon. John Saldivar, UDP - Belmopan
"I don't know if anybody has been accused of any wrong doing or any illegality."

Meanwhile in downtown Orange Walk, the PUP crowd had gained major critical mass - and we counted well over one thousand people - the PUP says it was two thousand and the police say the same.

It culminated with a rally:

Ramon "Monchie" Cervantez, PUP OW North Standard Bearer
"He has not done service to his job as an area representative and today we are protesting that."

Hon. John Briceno, PUP Leader
"This is the support of the northern caucus. This was organized just over the weekend and so in a period in about 3 days, we got all of these people out here. If it had been longer we could have gotten a lot more people, but this is just a start of the protest."


Channel 7