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Feb 5, 2016

FECTAB Rails at NICH and B.T.B.

The association comprised of small tour guides and operators, Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize, has stated that it will continue to ramp up the pressure on Government, NICH and the B.T.B.  Today it did just that in an emergency press conference. For these operators, every day in which big foreign companies operate without scrutiny and with the overwhelming blessing of NICH and the B.T.B. is an emergency. One of those companies is Dark Night, owned by the embattled Bradley Paumen. Despite Paumen being accused of hiring a hit man to kill four persons, and despite the cave operation allegedly being at the center of that murder plot, Dark Night was recently licensed to operate by the B.T.B.  FECTAB is calling for an investigation into the relationship between Paumen and official tourism stakeholders including Minister Manuel Heredia. 

 

David Almendarez

David Almendarez, Executive Member, FECTAB

“Whereas Dark Night Cave-tubing Adventures is fully cognizant of the fact that cave sites are national patrimony. Dark Night is in charge of Belize’s national patrimony. Who made that decision? When we found out about the stinking Dark Night agreement, we contacted NICH and we were told that it was the previous person who made the agreement. Lo and behold when the agreement became public John Morris signed the agreement…the same person we negotiated with is the person who signed the accommodation agreement for NICH. Let me tell you how accommodating the agreement is and nobody had anything to say. The company shall collect entrance fees for each visitor entering and using not the national patrimony site…using Dark Night Cave System. They changed the name to Dark Night Cave System. This fee must be agreed upon by all parties. The company shall be required to pay the institute. NICH would have no way to see if the company is saying the truth. Which company you see is allowed to collect government fees and handle government money on behalf of government. Dark Night! Our question is who is responsible for such a sweetheart deal? Who? The Minister of Tourism is also responsible for this sweetheart deal This week on the news he admitted that Mr. Paumen has invested millions of dollars in his industry and he sees no reason why his deal should be put under scrutiny. The corruption is stink and it goes deep and long. We’re calling for a full and comprehensive investigation starting with the Minister, NICH and B.T.B.”

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