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Sep 24, 2014

Heredia Says He Supports Proposed Reserve Status…

There is some confusion which Minister Manuel Heredia seems unwilling to clear up where the wetlands of Los Bajos are concerned. When News Five spoke to Heredia last week, he blamed the P.U.P. for breaking the news about the subdivision being underwater. And today, he blamed the media cameras for making things look worse than they are. But what he hasn’t been able to explain is why he initiated a subdivision in that particular area. As we’ve told you, those wetlands form part of a proposal for a marine reserve expansion which is currently before Cabinet awaiting approval. Ironically, Heredia claims to support that proposal, even as he continues to defend the subdivision planned there.

 

Manuel Heredia Jr., Area Representative, Belize Rural South

Manuel Heredia Jr.

“The way we have done things over there, the mapping section in natural resources would usually show you the layout of what you will do and just like the cameras show you over there in the Google that was presented showed look and we agreed that all the, anything that is above normal will be removed and I said it to you all in San Pedro, as soon as we will decide what will be done or we will do it any at all, then we will decide what can be given and what cannot be given. But on the record, there is nobody that can say that Mister Heredia has done anything that is not in the interest of our people. Even after the media had commented or done everything, people were still coming to me and saying Minister no worry about what they were saying; what we want is a place to stay. But I do believe as a former fisherman, as a person of the environment, I have been involved in a lot of the environmental things that have been on the island, one Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is the best on the island. This initiative about the other expansion of Hol Chan, I was a pioneer in that. As I mentioned before, before that, all the shoals, most of the shoals were sold. Los Salones which was a nesting for birds, I was the one with the approval of cabinet that had that taken back and now we want to make sure that it is conserved. But what really happened is that the group wanted to expand as much as possible and that is where I think there was some resistance not only from one or two of my colleagues, but other ministries where probably their jurisdiction overlapped with the others. But overall, I believe that the shoals, and particularly the lagoons, need to be conserved for future generations to come. But there is no one from any party on the island that can say that they can match me when it comes to doing things for the betterment of my community.”

 

Later in our newscast we’ll take an in-depth look at another subdivision which was started in 1997 on the island. Today San Mateo is considered a slum of the island, and many of the residents still have no running water, electricity or sewerage facilities.  

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