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Feb 7, 2019

B.F.F. Claims that TASA Shouldn’t Be Awarded Grant Funds

Nigel Martinez

The B.F.F. fired off a press release on Wednesday about monies TASA received from PACT because it feels that TASA’s board doesn’t have the right composition and should not have been granted project funds. The federation has since written to PACT and the Financial Intelligence Unit voicing their concerns about the disbursement of monies. They say that both entities responded that they will review the matter. But as we reported in December, the TASA has already been granted over a million dollars in funds.

 

Nigel Martinez, Belize Federation of Fishers

“We have sought a legal opinion that has indicated that they are in contravention of the N.G.O. Act, as well as the F.I.U. Act. We have stated to them categorically that the composition of their board is illegal. They have been raising money for Turneffe to which we as a board member are not privy to. We are not aware of those projects and we have stated to PACT that we want them to put a stay on that money because we were not consulted nor do we understand what that money was requested for. So we have written to them asking them to investigate this matter because they have been operating illegally as of April of 2016.   TASA had received five point six million U.S. dollars for the management of that marine reserve. Having us at the table would have ensured that our fishers, our members would have a direct say in how that money in that marine reserve would have been benefitting our members. We believe, in our opinion, that we were forcibly removed because it would have strengthened the Federation so that we could have a stronger voice in ensuring that the livelihood that our members depend on would be able to benefit them and their families. We found it to be very alarming because we have brought this to their attention and they have refused to sit down at the table to address the situation.”

 

TASA fired off a two-page press release to respond to what they say is “mischievous allegations” made by the federation.  TASA says that the claims made by the B.F.F. show a serious intent to destroy its credibility and sustainability. TASA noted that they are in good standing with the B.N.N. and F.I.U.  They also report that they didn’t remove B.F.F. from the board and that they have always been included because TASA acts with transparency and accountability.

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