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Jan 13, 2016

Cane Farmer Lucilo Teck Seeks Assistance to Pay Legal Costs

Audrey Matura-Shepherd

On February twenty-third of 2015, Justice Shona Griffith, struck out a writ of mandamus brought to the courts by Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd on behalf of cane farmer Lucilo Teck and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. The application would have sought to persuade the court that the Sugar Industry Control Board was compelled, by law, to start the 2014-2015 sugar crop that had been delayed.  But as we said, the case was struck out and the sixty-five year old canero was ordered to pay a whopping twenty-nine thousand plus dollars in legal fees. On January sixth, a letter was issued threatening further legal action against Teck, if within fifteen days he did not pay the monies. Today, Teck along with attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd took the airwaves and managed to raise a significant amount of money.

 

Audrey Matura-Shepherd, Attorney

“It was until the twenty-third or twenty-fourth of December that we went to court and the registrar finally gave her assessment. Barrow and Williams had asked that their legal fees that Mister Teck should pay would be seventy-eight thousand dollars and a little couple more, like a couple hundred more. We went to court of course before the registrar and we disputed that because we were showing what was that for. For example twenty thousand dollars was for main retain and for what? Just because you hired me and that’s my name, you want twenty thousand dollars? And they just added up this huge amount and after hearing our arguments, the registrar ruled that Mister Teck was only to pay twenty-nine thousand two hundred and four dollars. Of course I wrote the company and ask if they can send us a copy of the order. But yesterday, we got a letter dated the sixth of January that was saying that we are demanding that within fifteen days of receiving this letter that you pay us or we will have an enforcement proceedings. I don’t think we’ll need to do that. I think it is good that people came forward and are donating and unless they are trying to be malicious and vicious, I sure they can work with us to have a payment plan.”

 

Lucilo Teck

Lucilo Teck, Cane Farmer

“It is my only opportunity, I am sincere, I cannot make it; I cannot pay it personally. So I believe that the media is the only way how I can bring my cause to the general public. I appreciate that the Belizeans in this country will stand behind injustice and that is the principle which I took when I became involved in this.”

 

Duane Moody

“So you don’t regret the stand that you took?”

 

Lucilo Teck

“I cannot regret it because honestly someone had to make a stand because you know that the sugar industry is the lifeline for Belizeans in the northern communities and for the nation; it brings huge incomes in foreign currency. But our future was bleak and that’s the reason why I entered. ASR/B.S.I. wanted to enforce their condition upon us—it’s like a big power taking chance against a small country; against weak people, against poor people. They succeeded because they had the powers, but we had to make a stand. If we didn’t make a stand, then I would say personally, I couldn’t live with it. I couldn’t live with it if no one made a stand behind this big giant.”

 

The total pledged today was in the tune of twelve thousand one hundred and sixty-five dollars. 

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