Belize - Belize News - Channel5Belize.com - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, Miscellaneous, People & Places » Consultations on 9th overshadowed by convention atmosphere
Aug 11, 2011

Consultations on 9th overshadowed by convention atmosphere

By all accounts, the public consultations on Wednesday night at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, was a political sideshow. Operatives worked the room drowning speakers at the podium and clouding the gravity of the proposed ninth amendment. There were others, however, who went with prepared positions such as the Bar, the Council of Churches and the P.U.P.   At the end of the first round, it is safe to say that the number of those who for whatever reason opposed the ninth amendment to the constitution was more than those who proffered support.  Acting Chairman of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee was Minister John Saldivar. Others on the panel were Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez and area reps Nemencio Acosta, Ramon Witz, Florencio Marin Junior, as well as John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition.  The Solicitor General Cheryl Krusen gave a legal presentation to start the proceedings.  News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

John Saldivar

Both P.U.P. and U.D.P. supporters were in mass attendance at Holy Redeemer Parish Hall for the first public consultation. After presentations, the acting chair of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee, John Saldivar opened the floor for questions.

John Saldivar

“I want to caution the people who make interventions tonight and in future hearings that we don’t want to turn these hearings into a road show.”

Perhaps not yet a road show but certainly a circus side-show was opened as both P.U.P. and U.D.P. brought out supporters to cheer and jeer to the dismay of the regular public. Still yet, one of the first to speak at the podium is P.U.P. senator Lisa Shoman.

Lisa Shoman

Lisa Shoman, Attorney

“I am presenting on behalf of the more than a hundred and twenty members of the bar association who have a collective legal wisdom of about six or seven hundred years, not 30 years.”

And after giving the six minutes version of the Bar Association’s view Shoman’s shutdown was brought courtesy of the acting chair.

Lisa Shoman

“There is not one single constitution that has every sought to bar natural justice.”

John Saldivar

“Thank you.”

Lisa Shoman

“No Mister Chairman, you are going to hear me out. No Mister Chairman, I will not yield.”

John Saldivar

“Can we have the next speaker please? Miss Shoman I gave you ample opportunity to speak…You took the opportunity to expound the bar’s position. I gave you an opportunity to expound your own position. They are many people behind you.””

Lisa Shoman

“This is not a debate Mister Chairman; you are here to listen to us.”

John Saldivar

“Miss Shoman, I ask you to wrap up. I give you thirty seconds to wrap up.”

Lisa Shoman

“Beautiful, as soon as they get quiet. Mister Chairman, this committee is here to listen to the people, not to debate with it, not to scold it.”

Alifa Elrington Hyde

Alifa Elrington Hyde, Attorney

“The same cases they were raising to say this is why we should not support the ninth amendment, are the cases they are no longer raising; are the cases that the solicitor general brought here tonight; and the solicitor general explained here to the Belizean people. It is important for the Belizean people not to be carried away by what this one is saying and what that one is saying but listen to the law.”

Serafina Ross

Serafina Ross

“Before approaching or entering into that arena, why don’t first you get the mandate of the people. In other words make the referendum act somewhat binding. Do that first and then you know whether or not you have the will of the people.”

Police presence had to be beefed up to manage the cue as diehard followers came in close contact.

John Saldivar

“We will suspend the meeting until police has control of the situation in the aisles.”

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“I am the duly elected area representative for Port Loyola and the people of Port Loyola who are out here in hundreds or close to thousands support this amendment and so in parliamentary democracy, political officers do not count, it’s the area representatives that have the mandate of the people. So as area representative for the Port Loyola constituency and as a member of the National Assembly, we support the ninth amendment.”

And though the consultation had all the trimmings of a Port Loyola convention, one dissenting voice, son of P.U.P. Area Rep, Gilroy Usher, was shut down for talking about Port Loyola.

Gilroy Usher Jr.

Gilroy Usher Jr.

“The member of Port Loyola spoke that the people of Port Loyola are out here in hundreds. What he needed to say is that he has some of the most resources at the ministry of works and the constituency is one of the most.”

John Saldivar

“Can we confine our comments to the ninth amendment?”

Gilroy Usher Jr.

“I’d like to further state that Port Loyola continues to be…”

John Saldivar

“Can we confine our comments to ninth amendment? Can you hold on a minute? The time for you to express that concern is at election time. That is the time when you express that concern. Right now we are talking about the ninth.”

Gilroy Usher Jr.

“We have a representative that has no integrity.”

John Saldivar

“Sir I will not allow you to continue to talk about Port Loyola.”

Stacy Martinez

Stacy Martinez

“I’m also a Port Loyolan and first and foremost, I want to make it clear that the people of Port Loyola are not illiterate; they are not uneducated and they know exactly that we support this ninth amendment bill one hundred percent. The people are here and you are clouding the issue. The main aim and purpose of this ninth amendment bill is the nationalization and give it back to the people. I do not want any of my utilities in any foreign direct investment who expropriate their funds back to their country.”

Canon LeRoy Flowers

Canon LeRoy Flowers, President, Belize Council of Churches

“The council of churches fully supports governments in its wisdom—if they feel—in the national interest to nationalize any of its utilities. Our concern however, is that when it is put beyond the courts, then it creates the fear and the doubt and does not engender the type of democracy that we say that we ascribe to because the court; one court—there are layers.”

After the Council of Churches, the man who stoned at Marcel Cardona in the House pledged his allegiance to the ninth.

Alan Kelly

“The Mesopotamia people is with the ninth amendment and the Mesopotamia people understand what the government of Belize is doing. We don’t want retract back to weh the previous government do to this country.”

Erwin X

Erwin X

“We can’t di mouth off while others di talk and noh di listen to each other. That dah di reason why we are here. Now listen to me now: before I come upstairs, I couldn’t come upstairs because they said the place was full. I had to ask a police officer along with my brothers and others to come upstairs. That to me is a derailment of the process itself. Now we’re here together as a people and still we noh di give each other sufficient reasoning and understanding to express ourselves to the best we can. If we can use the laws we have right now fi make peace among wiself and do right fi we people, how come then this government can say to us as a people, if the constitution is amended that our rights will not be infringed when we are living in infringement right now.”

After his presentation, Erwin X was physically pushed by people who ascribe to the ‘till I die’ mentality associated with street bond of party colors.

Mavis Bernardez

Mavis Bernardez

“Caribbean Shores does not support this ninth amendment. Not even one panades shop has been built up in Caribbean Shores. We the people of Caribbean Shores have no jobs. We cannot support the amendment because the amendment is taking our rights.”

A bonafide non-partisan individual stood up to raise her concerns and she experienced the heckling of a democracy in progress.

Isela Kelly

Isela Kelly


“I am standing here not as a U.D.P. and not as a P.U.P., but I am standing here as a very concerned citizen of this country that we call our home. Now I stand here and I do not support this amendment. I personally say nine to none.”

John Saldivar

“Hello, hello! Gentlemen and ladies, it is not going to work if you continue to boo people. We want to hear what they have to say; this committee wants to hear from every citizen of Belize who has a concern.”

But that will only happen, if both political parties refrain from sending their noise squads from the sessions. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Be Sociable, Share!


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.

Advertise Here

17 Responses for “Consultations on 9th overshadowed by convention atmosphere”

  1. Joe McGuire says:

    I am a person who tries hard to stay away from politics but I must say it is amazing at how stupid some of us Belizeans are that all it takes is a few gifts from the GOB and we go and cheer for the 9th amendment, no one but GOD should have the power to make what he says is law, Negro Mr. Clean should not be given that power!

  2. Erwin X says:

    The entire process was a clear travesty of democracy and total infringement on our fundamental rights to speak freely without intimidation as a people on issues such as the 9th Amendment. The very process and venue were stage with (die hard, rent a crowd, dimwitted partisan supporters) who were paid and coerced to show up with the intent to hackle and oppose anyone who did not agree with the 9th Amendment. It is a clear manifestation of the UDP’s Position of dictatorship already in the process even before the 9th amendment becomes reality. Belizeans wake up: we can not accept a Foreign Dictator or a Local Dictator. We can not replace a Foreign Dictator with a Local Dictator. Such actions minimize our “Democracy” and makes it appear as “Demon-cracy”. Demons in cabinet dictating over us. If there is no Freedom, Justice and Equality today: what will it be like tomorrow if Barrow has his way. CONSIDER WELL!

  3. Rod says:

    Damm I can’t believe the people of this country are letting this gov. Stupefy them nothing less than a revolution will work in this country now guan barrow guan and this happening while barrow and his family are living it up in la spending our hard earned tax money wake up belizeans wake up.

  4. DUTIED CITIZEN says:

    If the Government want to get an accurate Feedback let people vote by show of hands at the Consultations. Thereafter let every Area Representative convene a Public Meeting and ask the people to vote by show of hand or some other format (electronic, radio Poll etc.) managed by the Staff of the National Assembly. Add up all show of hand /other format VOTES by the people and let that feed back drive the decision to pass or not pass the 9th Amendment. SIMPLE

  5. belizeanpride says:

    really a pathetic way of doing public consultation, what a shame to this politicians who can even represent us in the house now in a public place like this no wonder they call themselves names and insult each other when they reach the national assembly house. is this the type of leaders we want, who shut up people when voicing an opinion? is this the type of leaders who have no morals while being leaders in the house calling others jackass, jeez mein we’re screwed with this politicans. this is not a meeting that we can say that they want to listen to the people, all they want is to listen to their politican fanatics and boo the rival fanatics. very embarassing. i ain’t no udp nor pup i’m a concern belizean with all this fuss going on since we can’t trust none of them.

  6. O. Walk observer says:

    Mr. Saldivar mentioned that they were elected with a three quarter majority; yes they were elected but there was no 9th Amendment on the table. This consultation process is bogus, the way how they are coducting it (rent a crowd etc.) at the moment Belize is one of the most HEAVILY POLICED country yet crime cannot be controlled and CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THE 9th ammendment is passed???? Belize will be worst than Zimbabwe, Uganda or Syria for that matter; think Belizeans a little handout does not go far, it only last a few days and for you to exchange that for years and years of suffering under a Dictatorship. It just do not add up think about your sons and daughters and the future generations; do not bond them to any emotional suffering, act now , oppose the 9th ammendment!!!!!!! Where will you turn for any case that needs Juditial judgement??

  7. coral Black says:

    When you sit down and watch the way how (some) people behave, you can really see
    why politicians don’t have no problem in doing what they do. Nuff a dem dah well fed slaves.
    Weh dem do, sell them Birth Right fuh food. Bob Marley said them bell full but them what? Dem
    Hungry, and I bet those same one’s crying out support this (9th garbage), will be the same one’s
    crying later on when they or one of their family fall victim to it. Remind me of the story, The Ginger
    Bread Boy. YHWH Nissi

  8. subKonshus says:

    Listen up Belizeans. Don’t let these politicians play us for the fools that they think we are. If these consultations continue like the first one then we are indeed fools and we deserve whatever ‘hoodwink’ we get from our elected officials. Firstly, as far as I am concerned, a consultation of this nature is not for us to agree or disagree with the 9th amendment. It does not make any sense because these consultations are not binding. If 2000 people in an auditorium express opposition to the 9th, it means nothing to the government. All that says is that they have consulted the people within the 90 days minimum period. Wearing a political T-Shirt to a consultation of national importance also tells the government that these people are indeed idiots and are clueless as to what a consultation means, much less, what the 9th amendment means! Therefore, if the consultations are not binding, then how can we use it to our advantage you may ask? Well we can use it to our advantage (whether you are for or against) to gain as much information about it as possible so that we make an informed decision when the time comes. Whether by referendum, protest or civil unrest. Don’t go to the consultation and say “I agree with the 9th, or I disagree with the 9th”. That is what they are expecting to hear. This is why Minister Martinez could give out 500 t-shirts for members of Port Layola to attend and say “his people support the 9th”. Instead, ask intelligent questions to the panel to let them know we are seriously thinking and deliberating amongst ourselves. {For example, why is it that the bar association, a credible and respectful group of lawyers are in opposition to the 9th amendment? Why is it that the same people who support the nationalization of utilities seem to oppose the 9th amendment? If the 9th amendment is to safeguard only utilities of the country, why does it extend to any other amendments that parliament might make? Ask questions such as these to let them think before they talk… } I am sure some of you are following the news in regards to certain social partners and interests group who oppose the 9th amendment. You can also ask the panel to clarify some points raised by these groups or persons. Why is it that its only the UDP parliamentarians are in support of the 9th? The Chamber, Council of Churches, Trade Unions, Bar Association, Bureau of Standards and other groups are all in opposition. Explain to us, what these organizations are missing? Basically, we should use the consultations to get informed and force them to tell us the truth behind the amendment. You may find that even some supporting ministers don’t even understand or can’t even explain the 9th amendment!

  9. coral Black says:

    When you sit down and watch the way how (some) people behave, you can really see
    why politicians don’t have no problem in doing what they do. Nuff a dem dah well fed slaves.
    Weh dem do, sell them Birth Right fuh food. Bob Marley said them bell full but them what? Dem
    Hungry, and I bet those same one’s crying out support this (9th garbage), will be the same one’s
    crying later on when they or one of their family fall victim to it. Remind me of the story the Ginger
    Bread Boy. YHWH Nissi

  10. Do it right says:

    What needs to be done is that there need to be a panel of independent lawyers maybe past judges that has no political association to come in and weigh the pros and cons to the public. Come and explain the implications of this 9th amendment to truly give the public whether the amendments are beneficial to society or not. All this drama is all politically driven. Majority of the Belizean public does not understand what is happening. They are just going by what the PUP and UDP representatives and their lawyers are saying. All we haer on the radios and tv are the PUP lawyers putting it down, but they are driven by a political agenda. Where are the independent lawyers? We are so caught up in politics here that no one sees or thinks past the colours of red or blue. We have to learn to think for ourselves.

  11. someone says:

    These are some of the most arrogant politicians…Dictators in the making. The good thing is that their days in office are counted…I will be waiting for them at home to come campaign…rent a crowd indeed.

    The world must laugh at the caliber of politicians we have. Boots Martinez are some of the most ridiculous and braggy politicians (full of themselves)…just remember the Bible says that “he who exalts himself, shall be abased..” Isaiah Chapter 13.

  12. Concerned Belizean says:

    Wake up people, think what is the hidden agenda. Look at Mexico and Guatemala, they are controlled by the drug war, Belize is so little what makes you think that Belize isn’t the next target for the cartels ???? Once the GOB has proper control over the country the cartels will control the government, they are the ones funding these guys, and putting people in the right places for when the time is right to take over GOB. Do you think GSU was formed for petty crimes, but yet needs to be controlled by the PM ???? Belize City is nice place to live, and only has about 500 wanna be thugs, and everyone knows who and where they are, but yet we can’t control them, why you think ??? Because the drug war was has to continue regards of which party in power. Wake up and smell the coffee, foreign companies always run with right structures and system to provide a better services to it’s customers. Go on youtube and watch the documentary GANGLAND-Los Zetas, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  13. mad as hell says:

    I have a question? Why was Boots Martinez there? What is his contribution apart from saying he brought out hundreds of people to support the ninth amendment. I dont see the reason why he was given the oppertunity to sit on the pannel. I am a young belizean and i am embarrass to call those my leaders. I thought this was a consultation. But all i saw an heard were the hundreds of people that work for Boots out there saying they were for the 9th amendment do they even know what it means. other than the fact that they got a new t-shirt and some pocket change.

  14. Wondering Aloud says:

    I would really want to know why wasn’t the PM there to present his 9th Amendment? He was once described as one of the most foremost constitutional lawyers in Belize and would have been the best person to present his dictat. I would have liked to see him with a straight face deceive the Belizean public as to why he needs this amendment. If he really could not make it, why did he not send Lois. As tax payers and after paying her millions of dollars, the least she could have done was to go an explain why she wants to continue collecting millions for the rest of her life. This is not about Ashcroft nor is it about foreign ownership of public utlities. This is about a PM who wants to rule forever. Why does he send “ignoramoses” like John Saldivar and Boots Martinez? Who gives Saldivar and Martinez the right to speak on our behalf when they did not have on the ballot paper in ’08 that they wanted to rule for life. These jokers are conflicted. Of course, the cabinet and the majority in parliament want to govern for life and do not want any court enquiring into any constitutional amendment appointing them executives for life!!

  15. Wondering Aloud says:

    I would really want to know why wasn’t the PM there to present his 9th Amendment? He was once described as one of the most foremost constitutional lawyers in Belize and would have been the best person to present his dictat. I would have liked to see him with a straight face deceive the Belizean public as to why he needs this amendment. If he really could not make it, why did he not send Lois. As tax payers and after paying her millions of dollars, the least she could have done was to go an explain why she wants to continue collecting millions for the rest of her life. This is not about Ashcroft nor is it about foreign ownership of public utlities. This is about a PM who wants to rule forever. Why does he send “ignoramoses” like John Saldivar and Boots Martinez? Who gives Saldivar and Martinez the right to speak on our behalf when they did not have on the ballot paper in ’08 that they wanted to rule for life. These jokers are conflicted. Of course the cabinet and the majority in parliament want to govern for life and do not want any court enquiring into any constitutional amendment appointing them executives for life!!

  16. Ricky Malthus says:

    The time is here to reject Barrow and his machinations totally. So we have formed a new government which has seceeded from Belize. It consists of the Northern districts of Orange Walk and Corozal, all of Sand Pedro and Amberges Caye, the Belize district to the haulover River, Cayo District, Toledo and up to South Stann Creek and all the Southern Cayes . We will declare its independence and will be prepared to defend it . We will give Barrow and all his rude boys the enclave of Belize City up to Hattieville and parts of Dangriga which will still be bigger than Barbados and most Caribbean Islands where he can rule omnipotently. Bye Bye Barrow. At least you won’t have the Latinos to dump on. You stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!a@@H#####.

  17. liberty and freedom says:

    A wise man once said “you can fix ignorant, you cannot fix stupid”. I have watched both parties as they bought votes with either cash, booze, groceries or other things. The people of Belize are mostly poor and can be bought for a price. Most do not understand what freedoms are taken away by voting in favor of the proposed legislation. True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

Leave a Reply

CAPTCHA Image
*