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Nov 28, 2014

Mediation Falls Apart, BGYEA Prepares to Return to Court against G.O.B.

 

Nigel Petillo

At last check a few weeks ago, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, was in mediation with government over the proposed use of a buffer zone near Harmonyville for the cultivation of corn.  It seems however, that there has been a collapse in the diplomatic approach to reaching a mutually agreeable solution.  This afternoon, Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, who was recently appointed as government’s attorney on the matter, was a no-show in court.  His absence from today’s scheduled meeting has certainly raised the ire of BGYEA.

 

Nigel Petillo, President, BGYEA

“This mediation was actually scheduled for November twenty-sixth, that was earlier this week.  We came for mediation and the government didn’t show up, well the government’s representative, you know.  There was a later extension to that mediation which would have been for today, November twenty-eight, two p.m.  Again, we are here again and we’ve been back and forth trying to comply with this mediation process, wanting this mediation process to work.  Mediation is actually an act of goodwill, ah mean we wahn work out this thing the right way.  We noh wahn seem as if we di quarrel or anything.  We want to do this together for the betterment, so we are disappointed today that the government dehn noh show up.  Apart from that, what’s interesting is that the government has changed lawyers where at first they were being represented by Mr. Nigel Hawke, the government’s prosecutor, it has been now handed over to Barrow and Williams Law Firm, one of the number one law firm eena di country.  This is the prime minister’s law firm.  Is that an act of goodwill?  Why yo gaan da route deh?  Why is it that we cyant sit down with the representatives and meet on neutral grounds.  Now it seems as though we’re set for trial now because since mediation didn’t work out it means we are to meet for court Monday December first.  So there’s no indication from the government’s side to say well we wahn dis ting work out, we wahn sih how we could work with Harmonyville and the idea of building its own revenue and building its community, so da noh bout wanting to seem disrespectful or just planting corn here it’s about building dialogue, communicating for the betterment of our people and for country by extension.  So yes, we are disappointed that the government didn’t choose the route which was sanctioned by the courts as well.  This is a court ordered mediation.  If BGYEA neva show up ya today dis woulda seem more… However, by the government not showing up here today I guess this means we’re going to trial.  I guess this means more money outta di taxpayers purse because high profile lawyers like Mr. Williams, Rodwell Williams, yo di watch two thousand [dollars] an hour or more.  Two thousand dollars per hour or more to prosecute the idea of wanting to do for ourselves.”

 

The matter goes to trial on Monday.

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