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Jan 14, 2013

The half-a-million dollar message by Minister Alamilla; who is behind the illegal activities.

Despite a moratorium on the extraction of rosewood, the illegal exportation has continued, seemingly without pause. Last week, a shipment that was on its way overseas, likely to China, was stopped in its tracks. The confiscated rosewood was then set on fire by the Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla in the presence of the media. The illegal operation was organized by a northern political operative who was issued with a license before the moratorium was put in place and who, the Ministry says, had been caught weeks earlier in similar clandestine activities. A News Five team has been investigating the story and put together this report.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In Friday’s newscast, we reported on media event organized hosted by Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla. The main item on the grill was over seven hundred pieces of illegally harvested rosewood which were seized Wednesday in Deep River, Toledo. Minister Alamilla expressed her frustration with the turn of events.

 

Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry

Lisel Alamilla

“What we’re doing today is burning rosewood that we confiscated on Wednesday night. My ministry has had enough—enough is enough. We have been battling this rosewood business for the past nine months since I assumed office and we have not been able to put a dent into the rosewood illegal logging.

 

The destruction of rosewood has sparked off a wildfire of disbelief, disgust and outright condemnation of the Minister’s actions. Since video of the burning was released Friday, the airwaves have been lit up and social media is featuring an online verbal lynching of Minister Alamilla. A majority of those scathing comments point to the wanton destruction of a precious resource to, as the Minister put it, send a message.

 

Lisel Alamilla

“It amounts to nothing? Do you have any idea what this rosewood is worth? Four hundred thousand at least. If there is not a bigger statement than that, somebody’s pocket will be hurting.”

 

But whose pocket is hurting, and to who exactly is this costly message being sent? Well, the holder of the concession is one Hilmar Alamilla, and this is certainly not his first brush with forestry officials. While he allegedly faces some official sanction for his rosewood transgressions, he doesn’t really seem to be in any sort of serious legal trouble. Hilmar Alamilla is also David Alamilla, who is described as a very close friend and political associate of Minister of Natural Resources and Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. So is there more going on behind the scenes to justify why Minister Alamilla felt her hands were tied, and chose to send a half-a-million dollar message?

 

Lisel Alamilla

“I am certain that there is corruption within the ministry. The difficulty is proving it. This is why the message is also meant for my staff; that when I give instructions, they must adhere to it.”

 

The Minister also said that some of the confiscated flitches which were considered not suitable for export are being stored at a local village, from where they will be distributed among local communities under the careful supervision of the Forestry Department. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

On December thirteenth, 2012 the Forestry Department detained six persons after more than eighty pieces of rosewood were found several miles outside of Punta Gorda Town. A tractor belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture was also impounded and an employee charged. In this incident the precious wood was valued at over two hundred and sixty thousand dollars. There was another bust in the area and the confiscated rosewood soon went missing. 

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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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28 Responses for “The half-a-million dollar message by Minister Alamilla; who is behind the illegal activities.”

  1. Storm says:

    So Gapi is behind this enormous crime — no surprise there. He’s proud to be crooked. FIU or some other agency needs to open up the bank accounts and trace the money between David/Hilmar Alamilla and Gapi.

    Some representative needs to introduce a law to increase the penalties, fines and imprisonment, for this kind of crime against the entire nation.

    I pray the day is coming when the people will have the power to get retribution against thieves and thieving politicians.

  2. errol simpson says:

    although it is illegal to harvest the rosewood minister alamilla could have send a diffrient message .
    what she should have done is sell out the rosewood take the money and give it to the poor familys in belize that money could have buy a lot of ,food , school uniforms, books , shoes , for needed kids.

  3. nigel says:

    Lisel Alamilla -“It amounts to nothing? Do you have any idea what this rosewood is worth? Four hundred thousand at least. If there is not a bigger statement than that, somebody’s pocket will be hurting.” Four Hundred thousand dollars (more or less)… The only bigger statement than that minister is how fiscally retarded and other wise dumb you acted and the only pockets hurting are those of the Belizean people who watched what can only be described as the generic equivalent to heaping a stack of money up and setting fire to it. So your solution to this whole mess (which by the way we the people already have a clue as to who is involved… Mr. DPM…) is to torch a valuable stack of natural resource that could have been used for desks and chairs for a school or cash money that could have gone towards poverty alleviation? But wait isn’t that part of the South (as well as almost all parts) considered impoverish? What am I missing here? How can these morons masquerading as government officials make so many damn “burn down the house to kill the flies” decisions and get away with it? But I guess there maybe be some truth in the popular legend that suggests that the emperor Nero fiddled (Though there were no fiddles in 1st-century Rome.) while Rome burned and this analogy seems befitting the inferno of stupidity, neglect and unabashed totalitarianism that is raging across our country. I guess the thought of a few greedy and already wealthy men being out 400,000 dollars makes her sleep better at night rather than the thought of how many hungry and needy families just lost the chance to make their lives a little better. Maybe 400,000 dollars may seem a paltry sum to a few people but for the many that go through the struggle of surviving an increasingly hostile economy (a hostility that seems more brutal towards the poor and less fortunate) a 1000 dollars out of 400,000 towards a scholarship for a child who’s family cannot afford to other wise send them to school that would enable them to break the cycle of poverty, a thousand dollars can mean another generation has at least a glimmer of hope.

  4. BZE says:

    Can’t alamina have better since. what a waste of people we have in ministerial position. she is basically burning $$$$$$$$$. that wood could have been sold and donated to charity. set of fools.
    !@$$$

  5. james says:

    GOSH …STUPIDITY HAS NO LIMITS…!!!IN THESE FINANCIAL CHALLENGING TIMES HOW CAN OUR MINISTERS MAKE SUCH IDIOTIC BLUNDER..THIS ACT PROVES NO POINT AND COMES TO ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD END FOR ANYONE….YOU SHOULD HAVE USED THAT MONEY TO PROSECUTE THAT PERSON DAMMIT….YOU JUT COMMITED AN ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME DESTROYING OUR SCARCE RESOURE.

  6. hard woking Belizean says:

    Sense isn’t common within this whole corrupted ball of UDP government!!! From the PM who financially maintains damn criminals with our hardworking tax we pay whilst the actual poor and needy in our country suffer to the DPM who is the headmaster along with Luna and Hilmar Alamilla in the illegal cutting of our country’s heritage! They are making themselves wealthier every day….you should see Hilmar’s mansion! Rosewood pays quite WELL!!! The rosewood could have been used to build a shelter for our homeless not burnt like garbage!! As the minister herself said, there is corruption within the ministry but not only there….it starts from the top and trickles down to the last bottom!! God have mercy on us and may he give us the strength to continue enduring this punishment since we have long more to go unless we do something and take a stand once in our lives!

  7. Nesher says:

    While i do agree w/ most of you that it(Rosewood) could have been put to better use, you have to see her POV as well….the PM really put it to the environmental orgs when he appointed Minister Alamilla cz he pleased them but at the same time he @#$% them as well cz now she will realise how frustrating it is to try to move the “Corruption” mountain that exists within Gov’t and how all the politricians care about is seeing how they can steal from the Belizean ppl. They(POLITRICIANS) care not one @#$% if poor ppl are starving or not, as long as their tables are full and the money keeps rolling in

  8. rcg says:

    hmm!!! that a waste of resource, when the government could have put the wood to good use like contribute to the schools to make furniture for the kids or some thing constructive. That was a stupid thing to do, burn the precious wood that worth so much money that could have help with some funds or some thing. i bet that these thing could have been sold or action to some one. guess the person that was responsible for the burning was jealous cause she wasn’t making her cut and wanted to get back at gapi or people behind this

  9. rcg says:

    The people of Belize is fighting against the government, they are the biggest enemies, crooks, killers!!!! they need to crack down on these government officials seriously if crime and violence should stop, weed need to start at the root, the ministers!

  10. busha says:

    She should be removed from her position, obviouslty incompetent… they confiscated it, so its government’s (or, yes, the people’s) property, and could have been sold internationally… and I dont know, build a school or two, pay off some debt, ahm.. u know, some good stuff… but noooooooooo….

  11. x says:

    sad, the real message she is sending is, she knows her gov. is infested with theives and crooks. She is saying that if she doesn’t burn the wood it will end up right back in the criminal’s hands, instead of being used or sold for the benifit of the people. again sad

  12. FFlank says:

    The most stupitest Minister on planet earth. wasting poor poeples money

  13. Say again? says:

    Published on Mar 6, 2012

    We have reported on a number of cases of land fraud or land grab. One report coming out late this evening from San Pedro is that a parcel of prime property has changed hands for what documents show is a pittance. It involves Parcel Number 1193 previously held by the Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL). According to the documents in our possession, the choice piece of land is located on Laguna Drive in the heart of San Pedro Town. The lot was the proposed site for the construction of a new BWSL building that was scheduled to begin this year. It is valued in the range seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars given the real estate prices in the island. The said property was cancelled from BWSL last November. It was converted into a seven-year lease, but the ink was barely dry when on December fifteenth 2011, the property was sold off for a mere two thousand five hundred dollars. According to the documents, the land was transferred to nineteen year old Alyssa Tun whose address is listed as San Pedro Town but who has been traced to Orange Walk Town. The point man in the sale of the property is allegedly one David Alamilla who works for the powerful Orange Walk Minister and who is also related to Tun. We contacted BWSL offices in San Pedro, they referred us to the Belize City office, who in turn told our newsroom that they did not know of the transaction.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nR4ExhxA6g

  14. Rough says:

    what is the strong message the minister sent? Mr Allamilla is still a free man, walking the street like nothing happened. The minister could have used her five senses to handle this issue.

  15. rcg says:

    alamina plain out stupid and selfish!!!! how can she and all other come up with this stupid solution? then they talk about alleviate poverty and and crime when they are contributing to…
    Where is their common sense? guess because they are financially stable they don’t consider poorer class of people that they represent. the schools need furniture, contribution and even cud have gone to scholarship or pay to our depth of the country… this action dictates the situation the country are in at this moment. how are these people governing our country with this type of mentally??????

  16. mark6 says:

    I remember a scripture in the bible of someone who said that could be sold and be given to the poor but that was Judas Iscarriot for he stoled money from the offerings to the poor… this cudnt be more the same

  17. Carrie says:

    place Gapi Vega in jail and throw away the keys, that’s where he belongs!

  18. BZE says:

    I agree with you all, peeps. i simply hope one day we get ride of this lay back attitude and become bold and aggressive to stand up to our gov and stop them from continue marginalizing us and doing such blunders without any kind of sympathy.

    am sure that the time is getting closer, we have been taking it for quite a while now..

  19. Initiate says:

    Hitting a good mark there mark 6.

    Sometimes you have to beat around the bush, and sometimes you just have to burn the bush!! Continue to blaze the trail of corruption Hon. Alamilla!!!

  20. Seletar says:

    Thanks for the reminder, @Say Again. There’s a nest of vipers in GOB.

    I am quite angry about the stupidity of Minister Alamilla’s action, but I have another question that the public should check ouyt: WAS IT EVEN LEGAL FOR HER TO ORDER THE BURNING OF THE CONTRABAND WITHOUT ANY KIND OF PROCESS OR PUBLIC HEARING? Alamilla acted as judge, jury, and executioner — to destroy the evidence?

    Was the wood actually burned to ash, or were the little flames extinguished so that most of it could be salvaged and sold when public turned its attention? Does anyone know?

    Does anyone know the familial relationship between Lisel and David/Hilmar? The press has been silent about it.

  21. mad girl says:

    this is a senseless act that they did to burn half a million dalla… they cuda a mi sell it and give it to charity.. how stupid is this fool of a lady to do such a selfish thing.. i hope her conscious kills her!

  22. Ashley says:

    Yep, let us encourage this by just taking the illegal cut rosewood and selling it for our own gain. Like that totally wont encourage more cutting of rosewood.

  23. James says:

    Shame. Those that should lead are out of options. No options in reducing crime…no options in growing the economy and creating jobs and income…and no options in managing our resources!!! It is ridiculously easy to burn the lumber…but not easy to find a truly sustainable solution.

  24. MzDee says:

    Alamilla should be removed from her ministerial position due to her incompetence. This UDP Gov’t is a waste of time in my view, and I could never respect none of them the way I respect the PUP’s regardless of their downfall in the latter part of their term. I respected each of them and I took the time to know each of them and their portfolio by heart. I was always excited to meet or greet one of the PUP Ministers because they have respect; they were kind, courteous, mannerly, smart and were NOT racist like dis ya UDP. Now I consider this UDP Gov’t from head to tail to be very disrespectful, arrogant and want to micro-manage everything. Most of them are smart but dont know zip about governing, all weh deh di duh dah carry the country backwards instead of forward. We ya da Belize tiad ah dat. Ms. Alamilla poses to be uneducated and heartless when she acted out like this without consulting the Belizean people about a solution regarding the rose wood or furthermore, who made that decision to burn the rose wood? Does she think that she would have gotten a medal or heartfelt praises from the Belizean pubic for this senseless act?? Try fi mi woman!!!!!

  25. Equal Press says:

    show Hilmar Alamiiia face. like any other person charged witha crime. EQUAL PRESS COVERAGE

  26. Sleven says:

    The ministers are all involved in this scheme. She burned it because it was evidence. Shame on her and shame on the government of Belize.

  27. SP citizen says:

    Lets think about the rosewood fiasco on a wider scale. We have an idea of who were the string-pullers and what do we do about it? We all talk, which is the root of the problem. You see, as one politician said so bravely, “this wah blo ova like wah lih breez” . This Belize is the problem. Politicians at the end of the day will be politicians. So why look to them for answers for we as a collective create the environment we live in, most of the times not consciously.

  28. William tam says:

    MESSAGE TO DEAN BARROW

    TAKE ALAMILLA OUT!!!

    She gets first place for the stupidest minister.

    This country needs so much. We can’t even afford to maintain our own country.
    She just burnt half a million dollars. Dean barrow could have sustained 30 gang members with that money for at least 5 years.

    Ccccoooommmmmeee oooonnn.

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