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Apr 29, 2013

PM talks about Rosewood sale to Vega

German Ignacio Vega has been in the news lately much more than his brother, the high-profile Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. That’s because German Vega is the principal for GIV Enterprises, which has been linked to illegal rosewood harvesting in the past, and most recently has been named the exporter of choice for all of government’s confiscated rosewood. The amnesty was granted from April eight through April twenty-sixth, but government made it very clear that the amnesty was for rosewood which was already cut and stashed, and no freshly cut rosewood would be tolerated. Still, multiple reports indicate that there was a rosewood cutting frenzy in the south during the amnesty, and again, Vega was mentioned in multiple reports. This morning Prime Minister Barrow spoke on the issue and freelance reporter Mike Rudon has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

For the first time since this latest rosewood controversy reared its head, the leader of the nation spoke on the topic, and perhaps not surprisingly, added his full support. What was a little surprising was what he had to say. The PM spoke of the benefit of the amnesty not so much for the exporters, but for all the little people cutting and supplying the rosewood.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“That was a legitimate, sensible, practical way to go. There is talk of principals that were involved and connection to the U.D.P.  While those that do the actual exports are limited in number, the people who cut the rosewood and sell to the brokers, to the exporters, are regular folks in Toledo. And if you go down there, you would find that the majority of them want to see an open trade in the rosewood. Dehn di tell yo we want eat. Now government is responsible and we can’t have that. But my point is that when we did the amnesty, it didn’t just benefit to the limited extent it did, the principals, the exporters, it benefitted the people from home the exporters buy.”

 

We’re not too sure about part, since all those people cutting and supplying the rosewood shouldn’t have been doing so during the amnesty, since freshly cut rosewood was very specifically prohibited. And just as GIV Enterprises was named frequently during the illegal cutting of rosewood during the amnesty, it came up at the press conference. Barrow was not pleased.

 

German Ignacio Vega

Jules Vasquez, Channel 7

“Would one have calculated the entire arrangement that while we don’t know the details of campaign financing, certainly those who have been the unwashed among us; who have been behind the curtain know that GIV is a substantial campaign financier for the U.D.P.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Oh really? Oh really? Well sir you know better than I. let us put everything on the table. GIV I believe is owned by the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister and I have no doubt that GIV or Mister Vega, who is the principal, helps his brother. I have personally…or let me say, I can tell you categorically that GIV has not contributed a penny to central coffers of the United Democratic Party.”

 

Jules Vasquez

“However, would you agree that not everyone feeds from the main trough? There are different sources of funding being access.  I’m saying that I understand that you have taken an official position historically that you don’t know how your operatives raise their funds, but there is a trough in the north that feeds eight seats.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“I will try to just answer your question because you go on an excursion, you’re bringing all sorts of things on the basis of premises that are not true or that are not acceptable. When you say you understand that I have historically…I will not get into a back and forth with you…I could take objection to that; where is your evidence. But please, continue with your question and let me answer.”

 

Jules Vasquez

“I guess it won’t go anywhere because you only deal with the central, with the coffers of the U.D.P. you won’t accept my interpretation that there are other sources of funding. Let’s move on…”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Please man, please, please.”

 

As we’ve mentioned, government has stated that no rosewood cut during the amnesty will be certified for export, but that certainly hasn’t stopped exporters from cutting and hauling it. We figure they probably know something we only suspect. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

As we said, the amnesty period is over and the exportation of rosewood will now come under the CITES Regulation. 

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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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10 Responses for “PM talks about Rosewood sale to Vega”

  1. Rod says:

    What a disgrace we have a big thief as a pm makes me want to vomit.

  2. WOW says:

    This is how political cronies give their family members priorities when they are in office, then after their term they disappear with all the money they stole from the country. They open these overnight businesses to make money only because they the opportunities. If someone ask who the main directors and investors are, I am sure the people will find out that it involves the PM and his chosen cabinet members and close family members. All politicians are for themselves not the people. Greed and money is the root of all evil in this world.

  3. Angel says:

    These Vegas need to stop destroying our country! And when will Ian Vega go to jail for killing Luis Polanco?

  4. Angel says:

    These Vegas when will Ian Vega go to jail for killing Luis Polanco?

  5. XMON says:

    HE THINKS BY USING CERTAIN WORDS HE WILL COVER OUR EYES I SAY NO U R A THIEF. DEPUTY PM BROTHER IS ALREADY A MILLIONARE U R JUST GETTN MORE RICH TOGETHER

  6. truebelizean says:

    I can’t even finish reading this article… all of this corruption makes me so sick

  7. deanO says:

    nuh worry mr.borrow, da just a matter of time till u d outta office. village council, then town council, then u and u flunkies. i am surprised d media zeroes in on vega but he is nothing compared to the wuthless bag a $he-it rene montero. da man mek vega seh move fa yah. multi million dollar homes, cars, land and anyone could pass front of agrotech (his business in cayo) and c shelves empty n no a soul een deh. his son owns d machines for license in cayo n benque. before dat they run marketing board to d ground. watch his big house. the whole montero squad wah get d sense. corrupt cow dat he is.

  8. Storm says:

    “The majority of them want to see an open trade in the rosewood” — WHAT A FOOLISH THING TO SAY!

    Of course the criminals want crime to go on as usual, but that is not the national consensus! And we are not just here to rape the country and let every relative of a crooked politician get rich, we should be here to leave Belize in a better condition for our children.

    ARE YOU DOING THAT, MR. P.M.?

    You are known by the company you keep, and sadly PM Barrow keeps at his side the most notorious crook in the nation.

  9. A Jew says:

    Bunch of crooks and theives indeed. Raping Belize by the day!

  10. Andy says:

    What they are doing to us is just for a time. You could steal from the poor but one day bucket must go to well and fall out. Where is the Prime Minister when people are dying? He never goes on the media and show pity for all our Belizeans that died daily but go and back up the other crooks in our country. What a shame and disgrace!!!

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