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Aug 29, 2013

But media rep beats down on OCEANA VP for South and Central America

That was the more or less civil portion of the press conference called by OCEANA’s regional VP. The agenda of the briefing was generally a meet and greet, but the event took a different tone. Some members of the media were not interested in the meet and greet as they were on beating up on Muñoz. There were very pointed questions about the changes in OCEANA post-Audrey Matura-Shepherd. There were a lot of obvious expressions of support for Matura-Shepherd as Muñoz came under fire.

 

Reporter

“No disrespect, welcome to the country. I see two foreigners. I don’t know neither of them; I don’t know anything about you so I don’t have any reason to trust what you are telling me. I don’t even see OCEANA’s press coverage. Where is the documentation that this is happening for OCEANA’s theme? I’m concerned about the job security of those people. I am very concern. So if you can assure us the Belizean people…OCEANA is what OCEANA is because of the power of the people. Look in the cameras, convince us that we can rest assure that the people who brought OCEANA to this stage are going to remain; we can trust them because we have developed relationships with them.

 

Alex Muñoz, VP, South and Central America, OCEANA

“I’m not going to be the leader of OCEANA in Belize. I’m here to conduct the search of that leader. That leader will be a Belizean; will not be me. Audrey had a boss, an American boss; that’s still the case because that person is the C.E.O. and that is my boss also. And I will be supervising but I will not be the country leader. Everybody in the Belizean office is in the office working and we will have the new leader to define and decide on the staff needs; that’s a very normal procedure everywhere. They will stay as long as they keep doing the great job that they have done and they collaborate in winning the victories that we have achieved here. That is the situation and that is a very normal procedure anywhere in the world.”

 

Reporter

Alex Muñoz

“I’m saying it appears to me—and that’s why I am asking—that now we are seeing a foreign agenda. And so I am putting it on the record, if any of the administrative staff is terminated for any reason, I’m interpreting that to me as it would just appear to me that that seems to be the direction that we are going to. I don’t know if you know how you are coming across, but I feel like you are coming across very academic in your response. Maybe it is just by a different culture, but I’m just saying, as a Belizean, I am concerned about the future protection of conservation of our oceans; nuff said. Let me ask… Who is documenting this press conference for OCEANA?”

 

Alex Muñoz

“We don’t need to document this conference for OCEANA. It is being documented by the press.”

 

Reporter

“That’s different. In the past…Doesn’t OCEANA has a PR department?”

 

Alex Muñoz

“Yes of course.”

 

Reporter

“So why are they not here? It just doesn’t make common sense to me, honestly.”

 

Alex Muñoz

“You are talking to that person.”

 

Reporter

“You are taking care of PR now?”

 

Alex Muñoz

“I’m supervising three office; Belize office and I am in charge and responsible for that.”

 

Reporter

“So what happened to the PR team for OCEANA Belize?”

 

Alex Muñoz

“We had our staff in our office working. They know that this press conference is happening and we don’t need to document that. I know that that probably was the practice, but this is a press conference that is opened to anybody that wants to come…actually you are here. So we don’t need to document that.”

 

Reporter

“That to me is really arrogant.”

 

According to Muñoz, the new Country Director of OCEANA will be selected no later than the end of the year, but hopefully well before that.

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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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