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Aug 21, 2017

P.S.U.’s New Garifuna Prez: Belizeans First!

Former president of the Public Service Union Eldred Neal has handed over the reins to a Belmopan-based public officer, Doreth Cayetano Obermayer, who was elected over Gerald Henry Junior by delegates at Saturday’s ninety-fifth annual general meeting at the National Agriculture Show Grounds in Belmopan. Following a mediation meeting last week, Neal apologized for incendiary comments made during a recorded conversation with two other unionists in May. Those comments had to do with the alleged hunger for power of the Garifuna population, especially in the Public Service. And as he predicted, several members of the new executive, including Cayetano Obermayer, are Garinagu. The new president told News Five in a telephone interview earlier today that she is eager to start the process of reaching out to all members and emphasized that regardless of one’s ethnicity, we are all Belizean.

 

Doreth Cayetano Obermayer

On the Phone: Doreth Cayetano Obermayer, New President, Public Service Union

“Now with those amount of years of experience sitting around the Council of Management, I believe that gave me enough experience to see what are some of the things that I can make a difference in the Union if elected as the president. Looking at all of this, seeing that I was only a chairperson around the table, I decided that to make more difference in the Union, I believe that I am capable and confident and I am willing to serve as president of the union.  One of the things I shared with members is the fact that what has been said, has been said; we can’t take it back. But one thing we need to be mindful of is that we are Belizeans first; then after that we are Garifuna, or we are East Indian, or we are Mestizo, or Chinese or Asian, Creole. It is secondary, because it wouldn’t matter where we are, if I was in Honduras I would be Honduran and a Garifuna. So that’s the way how I look at it and that’s what I shared with members, that we are all Belizeans; so we fight for Belizeans, we fight for public officers, it doesn’t matter what race, color, creed or culture – we are Belizeans first and then our culture after.”

 

Ms. Cayetano-Obermayer works as examiner of accounts at the Supreme Audit Institution and has been a public officer for over ten years, the same amount of time she has been a member of the union. Three years ago she was elected to the leadership of the Belmopan branch of the Union and became chair in 2016. Also elected were second vice president Jerome Lozano; secretary general Fayne Nicasio and councilors Luis “Luke” Martinez and Cynthia Cayetano.

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