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Apr 18, 2013

APAMO strongly disagrees with rosewood amnesty

The sale of confiscated rosewood announced by the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development on Monday has been drawing huge public outcry. This afternoon, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization added its considerable weight to the public condemnation surrounding the recent decision by government regarding the amnesty, sale and exportation of rosewood. In a release issued today, APAMO states that it, “strongly disagrees with the Ministry’s recent decision that will allow the illegal loggers and private sector companies to profit from the rosewood in their possession.” According to the NGO, since any logs confiscated by the Forest Department become the property of the Government, its sale should have been undertaken in a transparent manner, and the intent of sale should have been publicly declared through an open bidding process. The revenues generated from the sale of the material could then be directed to the necessary stock assessments of these trees.  APAMO calls on government to revisit its position. Those are strong words from a very powerful organization which has been speaking softly but carries a big stick. But even with that said, today Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse told us he stands by the Cabinet decision, and has no problem with the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister being given exclusive rights to export rosewood confiscated by government.

 

Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration

Godwin Hulse

“I think we have to put the whole thing into perspective and let’s start with the minister. The minister was under tremendous pressure how to deal with this matter because people are cutting rosewood left right and center. First of all, the amnesty is not a law; that was a decision of the ministry supported by cabinet to ensure that they can get on top of this business. Of course it is lucrative so everybody is trying to get in on it—big people, small people; all kinds of people. And therefore the ministry decided that they would be instituting the amnesty to be able to allow forestry to get on top of the matter and take an inventory of what is there. Cabinet decided two things: the first that in fact they would not allow these people to export as normal because in fact there were rosewood within the inventory period that had been discovered. As you know, previously the minister had burnt and there was a hue and cry—Belizean people were saying oh dah money wasted and we coulda mi do this and that. And so government decided let’s export this rosewood and as a means of gaining this money; it is like someone finding oil—allow them to pay their expenses and share in the revenue. Cabinet has also taken a decision that anybody who continues to cut and it is found that they cut, they will not be allowed to even export the ones they have had. And so that was the position as was taken in cabinet. In the practice however, the agents who are doing this business are free agents to do it. And it is our understanding that that company has been buying the rosewood from other smaller people to enable the sale. I don’t cite and I would never cite the minister in any plan to engage in any corrupt deal at all. But within the workings of our society, one knows there are always these back and forth and back and forth. So I will not stand here and say there is corruption in the matter. I will simply saying that the government took a decision, people may not have liked the decision, but the decision was to get rid of the rosewood that was on the ground, get some money for the people of Belize and seize and desist thereafter.  You have to put this in proper perspective and I want to lay this right out, I continue to maintain—and let me start with myself. If I have a business or my brother has a business or my son has a business and it is a legitimate business dealing in an enterprise that is not illegal, then I don’t see a problem with that and I wouldn’t countenance that as corruption.”

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5 Responses for “APAMO strongly disagrees with rosewood amnesty”

  1. Fake Husle says:

    Is that the Godwin Hulse From the days of PUP Government? you are now now clearly a hypocryte. you were opposing cronism in those days and now you dont see it as a problem/

    Dam you

  2. sickntired says:

    It so funny how bird sing different song when they on the other side of the fence. Lee bit a power really get to people head. I want to see what song this bird going to sing when gov change. Hypocrit

  3. Ladymatura says:

    Godwin please learn the definition of corruption and learn that a conflict of interest is a form of corruption – so see the meaning of Conflcit of Interest from the FRE LAw Dictionary:

    ” A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary.

    In certain relationships, individuals or the general public place their trust and confidence in someone to act in their best interests. When an individual has the responsibility to represent another person—whether as administrator, attorney, executor, government official, or trustee—a clash between professional obligations and personal interests arises if the individual tries to perform that duty while at the same time trying to achieve personal gain. The appearance of a conflict of interest is present if there is a potential for the personal interests of an individual to clash with fiduciary duties, such as when a client has his or her attorney commence an action against a company in which the attorney is the majority stockholder.”

  4. Princess Meadows says:

    Ha ha Power Greed, How about the sugar? Maybe sugar not all that sweet right now like the rosewood. I agree with you two.

  5. Storm says:

    The wood was stolen from Mayan lands, how does it become the property of government? When a bank is robbed and money is recovered, does government keep the cash, or give it back to the bank?

    I’m not Mayan, but I respect the law, and the legal ruling that gave them control of their land and resources.

    I formerly respected Hulse, too, but he’s lost that by throwing in with theft and corruption. Too bad to end his days in disgrace of his own choosing.

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