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Jul 16, 2018

Political Spar Over Palapa Space in Buena Vista, Cayo

Tensions rose quickly today in Buena Vista Village, Cayo as police officers were called out to remove a group of P.U.P. officials from under a shed at Buena Vista Government School. The school is being used as a re-registration center for the residents of the area but the village’s chairman, Juan de la Rosa, says that the P.U.P. members were being politically mischievous and interrupting the re-registration process. On the other hand, P.U.P. Supervisor Javier Castellanos and his team say their presence can be seen as a sort of check and balance to ensure that there isn’t any political heavy-handedness by the sitting Area Representative, Rene Montero. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo spoke to both sides:

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Political tensions were heightened today in Buena Vista, Cayo,  to the point where police officers were called in to deal with the situation. It involved a shed at the Buena Vista Government School, used by a few PUP officials where voters were asked to assemble to re-register. Police officers were called out to the area this morning telling Javier Castellanos and his team to vacate the space or face charges of obstruction.

 

Javier Castellanos

Javier Castellanos, Supervisor, P.U.P.

“Obstructing what? We don’t know. Because there is a process going on and we are just observing from a safe distance. We are not hampering the process. We are not speaking to the persons who are registering. We are just here monitoring that persons from another village who should not be registering at this location are not doing so. This is not a property of the village council. Whence he might be in charge of the village this is open to the public right now. It’s the school. We have been here ever since and yesterday he told us to move and if not he will get the police. He came this morning along with the police and the police instructed us to move from here.”

 

Village Chairman Juan de la Rosa is accusing Castellanos and his team of heckling the voters, taking pictures and posting controversial comments on Facebook. We found this post on Facebook. It was posted on Friday, July thirteen by a person who controls the profile “Cayo Central”. It alleges political intimidation by Cayo Central Area Representative Rene Montero who we found sitting on a bench, looking unconcerned by the political drama.

 

Rene Montero

Rene Montero, Area Rep., Cayo Central

“I am not aware of any problem. You see where you found me? And this is from day when we started the re-registration process. I am right here. I am not aware of any concerns they have. I understand they have a problem with the chairman because the people have been complaining that they have been heckling the people and interfering with the election process. But I am quite comfortable here. I as the Minister I should have been there but I am comfortable here with the people. I have no issue with them.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“You are using one bench?”

 

Rene Montero

“One bench from day one and the people can attest. This is where I have been all the time.”

 

Castellanos says they will not be moved. Minister Montero says he has no issue with the P.U.P. group being under the shed.

 

Javier Castellanos

“Well the police came here and they told us that they would physically removed and that we will also be charge, charge for obstructing. Obstructing? I do not know what. So we are adamant so we called out legal representative who instructed us to remain here. Until such time we will remain here. We do not see that we are doing anything illegal.”

 

Rene Montero

“I have no issue with them. I am quite comfortable working here, greeting the people as the area representative, as the Minister of the area. That is my job; to ensure that everything goes smoothly. I have no issue with that palapa.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“They will be left there?”

 

Rene Montero

“They will be left here. You know I am quite comfortable here. If really I wanted to be there, I could have used my political powers to do so but I am quite comfortable here. You see where you meet me?”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Under the shade…”

 

Rene Montero

“Under the shade. Under the shade I flourish.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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