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Jun 13, 2014

BGYEA scores victory against G.O.B. in court

The feisty Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, held a small, but significant rally last Saturday called Plant the Corn Rally. Today, it scored a first victory in the Supreme Court where Justice Courtney Abel handed down a decision quashing an injunction brought against the organization by the Government of Belize.  BGYEA is determined to plant corn along the buffer zone near the outskirts of Harmonyville, as a means of generating revenue to develop the community’s infrastructure.  Government, on the other hand, contends that the reserve should remain in its natural state and that planting crops near the periphery, albeit temporary, is illegal.  On May twenty-third, BGYEA was barred from using the already cleared tract of land for agriculture when an injunction was issued by the Supreme Court.  Notwithstanding the sanction, the organization saw the full support of a number of N.G.O.s that were present at a rally held at Battlefield Park last Saturday.  This afternoon, that court order was overturned, following an in-chamber meeting between attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and Justice Abel.  It is a major victory for BGYEA, one that, according to its legal counsel, allows its membership to reconvene a plan the way forward.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney for BGYEA

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

“The decision is in favor of my client Mr. Nigel Petillo.  The court found that the injunction is now discontinued.  It’s very simple what happened, that injunction when it was issued there were specific orders that the court gave and the government gave undertakings.  One of them was that they were going to serve Mr. Petillo with the order and even the application and all affidavits when they had their ex-parte hearing, ex-parte meaning without him being present.  That was never served on my client, he only got the order, he never got all the other documents.  The court found that rather very offensive and although Mr. Nigel Hawke is saying that yes my client got everything the judge asked him well where is the affidavit of service, any trained attorney knows that whoever goes and serves a document needs to then give an affidavit of service saying that it was served and what was served and the other party signed it.  They couldn’t produce that and it’s simply because my client is not lying and so the other thing that happened is that the court also said we’re giving you this injunction on the understanding that you’re going to file by the thirtieth of May, a claim form stating what is the case against this gentleman.  They never did that, the court said not only were you late, you were excessively late.  As late as yesterday, I wrote to the solicitor general, I said you have not given us any indication that you filed this, he has not answered it yet.  Now today he tells the court that it has been filed.  I’ve never seen a copy, I’ve not seen it but I will wait to see when it is served.  It is the government that brought my client here and had to obey their very own order and they did not obey the order.  We applied for that injunction to be discharged however, we didn’t even have to proceed much with that application simply because it is clear on the first point.  They did not do what they told the court they would do. BGYEA paid the money for that entire area to be surveyed.  BGYEA has an understanding with the government that they are the managers of all the reserve, the parks and everything and the buffer.  Behind their backs the government is trying to increase the size of the buffer because the own legislation of the government, their own policy a buffer should only be twenty feet.  How come BGYEA has been hoodwinked and suddenly the government unilaterally changes a policy a now says that the buffer is a hundred and twenty-eight feet to up to two hundred and seventy-four, I mean you’re being discriminatory.  How come there are so many villages along that highway and you choose the one village which has multiracial people to say that we are going to treat you differently.”

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2 Responses for “BGYEA scores victory against G.O.B. in court”

  1. The Truth says:

    JAJAJAJAAJAJ….. BIG UP BGYEA

  2. pdyouth says:

    BGYEA should plant the corn 20 feet in from the road side. Thats the real size of a standard buffer. The other hundred is their’s to uitilize. GOB can’t say or do nothing to them once they leave the 20ft buffer.

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