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Jan 28, 2011

Prime Minister’s nephew gets oil concession over Maya Mountains

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s the general feeling environmentalists have tonight as on the heels of one victory, they suffer a major blow to their anti-drilling campaign. Earlier in the week we reported that the Taiwanese State owned oil Company, OPIC, gave up its rights to the second largest exploratory concession for oil that covered the Belize Barrier Reef. But as soon as that was announced, it is revealed that another concession that covers a large track of the western portion of the country, including the Maya Mountains has been handed over to Alfredo Acosta and Kimano Barrow. Kimano is the nephew of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and he is also the Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Belize.  While there is no record of Kimano’s expertise in the oil industry, the company with the concession, Paradise Energy Limited, was formed less than a year ago on February twenty-fourth, 2010. This has N.G.O.’s like Oceana, piping mad.

Audrey Matura Shepherd, VP, Oceana Belize

Audrey Matura Shepherd

“Paradise energy is fifty percent owned by Kimano Barrow, who is the nephew of the  Prime Minister, and he could have a business like anyone else, but the problem comes now when we find that once again the government has given out another oil concession. This one is onshore, but it’s another oil concession not using the competitive bidding process and that is the very…the problem is we cannot continue to abuse the law as it stands. Yes section 13 of the legislation provides for any minister to decide that I am going to go to cabinet to approve a contract.  But subsection one and two first says that you should have competitive bidding—that is an exception you should use. We have made the exception the rule and that is a problem. So when we see news like this that again another concession, it doesn’t matter whose behind it you know, what matters is it goes again to the very essence of the problem we are having. How can the government be saying that we have a well regulated industry and the Belizean people are to have confidence in it, but yet we find out about contracts long after the fact. Since 2010, October, this new contract was given out—imagine three months later—after the fact we actually get some form of confirmation that yes a new contract has been given out and where? In the Maya Mountain. It is just incredible.”

Kimano Barrow

Jose Sanchez

“Now in regards to oil contracts or concessions, there are certain requirements in terms of experience in oil.”

Audrey Matura Shepherd

“Yes and this contract again, because we know who are the players in it—Mister Alfredo Acosta and Mister Kimano Barrow. I mean Belize is small, we don’t know them to be any oil experts to have any kind of expertise and yet they have this contract. But I think what is more alarming is that the petroleum act, section 11 is very clear as to who can get a contract. It says a contract shall only be entered into with persons who demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds, assets, machinery, equipment, tools and technical expertise necessary for the effective performance of any contract. And a petroleum contract, you have to have that oil expertise, petroleum expertise. Imagine, OPIC just left and they were the ones if you just go on the internet, just goggle their name, you know that they are in the oil industry. Go and google Paradise Energy and you will see it’s recently that was established in Belize and obviously its purpose is—I can’t even say exploration of oil; [it’s] exploitation of this country.”

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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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27 Responses for “Prime Minister’s nephew gets oil concession over Maya Mountains”

  1. Robert says:

    This story would have been more informative if some reporter had interviewed Kimano Barrow or another executive with his company. At first blush it smells, but there isn’t enough information to persuade me it’s wrong or bad for the country.

  2. 100% Belizean says:

    The UDP way !!!!!!! 2013 is TOO FAR AWAY !!! THE UDP Way continues…

  3. Earl Grey says:

    The more things change, the more they stay the same. ……………………………………………………………..

  4. Josie says:

    see what I mean, the Prime Minister and his family is raping the county. This guy has no knowledge of oil drilling and environmental impacts which can be involved. Because he is public utilities chairman does not make him qualified, he got that position because of his relationship to the Prime Minister. WE NEED EARLY ELECTIONS IN BELIZE OR START WITH WHAT IS GOING ON IN EGYPT

  5. rod says:

    another case of blatant corruption all the barrow family getting all the consessions in belize they are all eating steak while the rest of the belizeans fight over the bone and in some cases the shadow of the bone ,wake up belizeans you think the pup was bad well think again this gov. is way worse this pm is doing it openly appointing and giving every job every position every consession to his family and friends while the poor belizeans are struggling and being killed raped and mamed on the streets well wake up belizeans wake up smell the napom its coming from the pm office.

  6. Ingar Intol says:

    Then Kimano leases out his oil concession to a real oil company for multi millions and laughs all the way to the bank.

  7. corf says:

    Wow!…like we are really surprized!

  8. beemtheman says:

    good for him.

  9. shy says:

    The most disgusting part is that we the Belizean people are not even asked if we agree to people drilling here or not. We have no say in any dam thing. This needs to change people need fi stand up for there rights. In big matters like this the Belizean people should be consulted!

  10. BZNinCALI says:

    Well said Audrey.

    Is there a remote possibility that they are connected with someone or another organization that does have expertise in the field & has anyone looked at the contract closely to find out if we have finally negotiated terms that would put more money into our infrastructure if & when oil is found. The nepotism has become as commonplace as breathing & as long as we keep playing musical chairs with our politicians & political parties this will continue, so until that changes, we have to push to ensure that if & when we give these contracts to Belizeans that the country benefits in addition to a chosen few.

  11. Sasha says:

    Here we go again, Crimeminister giving priviledges to FAMILY MEMBERS, and belizean people getting the SHAFT. RUN HIM OUT LIKE THE EGYPTIAN ARE DOING WITH MUBARAK.

  12. The People Had Enough says:

    WHEN BELIZEANS TAKE TO THE STREETS LIKE THE PEOPLE OF EGYPT IS CURRENTLY DOING…..THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE FOR THE BETTER IN THIS COUNTRY. HERE IS A BREAKDOWN OF THE REALITY OF BELIZEANS:
    1. A HANDFUL GET UP AND TALK UP
    2. OUT OF THAT HANDFUL WHO GET UP AND TALK UP ONLY A SMALL PERCENTAGE ACTUALLY WALK THE WALK AND NOT ONLY TALK THE TALK.
    3. THE VAST MAJORITY OF BELIZEANS DON’T TALK UP AND EVEN WORSE DON’T DO ANYTHING, BUT SIMPLY ACCEPT REALITY THE WAY IT IS.

    PHUKING SAD!!!! ONLY AND ONLY WHEN BELIZEANS SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, THEN WE WILL SEE A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER….FUEL PRICE JUST GONE UP AGAIN….AND NOT EVEN A WHISPER FROM GOB; THEY SIMPLY DON’T EVEN CARE ANYMORE TO INFORM THE MEDIA THUS INFORMING THE PUBLIC.

    TIME TO HIT THE STREETS….ITS TIME TO WALK THE WALK!!!!!!!

  13. fromafar says:

    LOL, whichever way you look at it, the UDP or the PUP, both would do the same if u ask me.

    I cringed when i heard oil was fouond in Belize for this exact reason.

    Gwaaaaan Kimano, do u ting breddah!!! Just hire Belizeans bro, please? Donate to the comunity please?

  14. Justice says:

    It is more tha time for my Belizeans to revolt against this dynasty that has been created, Ego is a bad thing. If you are not related to the PM the you are as good as dead as all his family members are sure to rape the country along with him. All the same PM things do not last. Look how easy a memeber of the last last administrator became a millionaiure and now where is he? Six feet down where we will all go eventually. God does not sleep!

  15. Oscar965 says:

    So far this is a one sided storey. It is important to show both sides to aviod the story, the reporter and the tv station being looked as if it also has a political agenda. That being said…I agree with the fact that we the general public have no say in where oil is drilled. Those deals are done behind closed doors not with the best interest in Belize

  16. Kamikaze says:

    We definitely need to start something like what’s going on in Egypt…we gotta stop thinking colours…red or blue…let’s run them out…the people have the power, not the idiots who call themselves GOB. Let’s run them out with blood :) ….

  17. Proud Belizean says:

    wat a shame…Shyne deh pan payroll, Lois Young di reap millions, Anwar pan payroll da BTL, and we can go on and on….

    Time to demonstrate…..

  18. Judge Aye Riegh says:

    so my fellow Judge knew skeletons would start falling out the closet, so he jump of the bench.
    the “not so clean Dean” should make a statement on this. or we need to remind him of the inaugural speech when he mentioned that heads would roll at the slightest smell of corruption.

  19. A.E.C says:

    So sad so sad…those pple aint thinkin about 2morow..about the environment….all they think about is…how can i become a millionaire!!! shame on them…belizeans we need to be a united country…BELIZE IS OURS!! not the UDPS, or PUPS…we have a say and THEY have to listen…caz we aint less than them we put them there so we have the power to take them out!! We have to stand up!!!

  20. CEO says:

    Belizeans are way too passive. We sit back and just tollerate this mess from our “leaders”. Why are the people in Egypt in the streets right now in opposition of their leader; why were the the people of Tunisia in the streets not so long ago? The answer is they got tired of this sort of mess year after year!

    Let your will be known and heard my people but do it peacefully and with much thought! Don’t destroy the country in the process. These guys need to go but not so fast PUP you did the same crap and we do need to see you back there anytime soon either. What do the people do?

  21. Rufus says:

    What a crying shame. Belizean politicians need to stand up for Belize not for the priviledge few. If I were a member of the cabinet I would be ashame to be associated with the government knowing that this kind of nonesense was taking place on my watch. Do the right thing for Belize.

  22. Earl Grey says:

    PIRATES…………..UDP & PUP……….robbing their own country.

    THEY never heard the saying….

    ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU………..
    ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY.

    WHO ARE THE POLITICIANS REALLY TRYING TO HELP BELIZE???????????????
    instead of themselves…….every body is gimmie- gimmie -gimmie………..

  23. ISHDAWN says:

    WAT U PPL YANKING ABOUT, cos ITS A BLACK MAN,UNUNO SEH NOTN WHEN LUKE ESPAT, AN FONSECA,AN MUSAS RAPE BELIZE,…….MY PEOPLE STOP WATCH UDP.

  24. Sky Jones says:

    As a Belizean living in the United States, and a citizen who cares for the people and country of Belize, it always amaze me to see the few who are selling their country’s soul for small money. They will lease their lands (obtained through scrupulous acts) to foreign investers who will rape the country of its natural resources, and in the end devastate the country’s ecology. Keep in mind people, countries like Taiwan aren’t helping our country for free; there is nothing like a free handout. A few motor bikes or police jeeps are small investments for the wealth that our nation possess. A few years back, the Taiwanese President stated in the Straits Times that Belize is such a nice country that within a few years there will be a Taiwanese in the government, and this will be the stepping stone one day having complete take over of Belize. Stand up Belizeans, tell Carnival and all foreign entities to cooperate or take a hike. Belize is for Belizeans, don’t be afraid to have them play by our rules or don’t play at all.

  25. Charly says:

    Excuse Robert, but I guess it is clear as water. Another thing is that u dont want to believe due to political beliefs which influences your reasonable judgement. SO sad, that one of the main political campaings of the current administartion was environmental protection. This is sahmeless, and I say it as a Belizean who were about the present and the future.

  26. DISILLUSIONED says:

    ISHDAWN , it’ll become doomsday if we stop demanding explanations from Politicians. Politics has nothing to do with race or ethnicity; its either Blue or Red. One thing I’ve learned from watching Politicians over the years is that they become more and more shameless. Belizeans, let’s continue to maintain strict vigilance no matter who’s in power and how much of a “mandate:” they have. We are hurt, tired, disappointed, and plain scared about our future.

  27. louisville,ky says:

    Just like my people; always barking up the wrong tree !! See.. as I speak oil is being extracted from Belizean soil and none of you thats running your mouth like a sick man’s behind is paying any attention to how much the people are being shafted and denied benefits from this resource that’s in limited supply. No, rather than demand accountability for what’s passing under your very noses, you are ..itching about a lease that only God knows what it will produce. Any wonder why the politicians are all having a field day??
    Let there be serious conversations about the OIL money…. only then will you get my attention and that of Mr. Man.

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