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Jan 21, 2016

COLA Says PM Barrow is Singing a New Cruise Port Sankey

Prime Minister Dean Barrow has gone on record recently to state that he is considering a proposal for a cruise ship harbor in Port Loyola, should a feasibility study indicate that developers can successfully build a facility at that location.  In fact, he says that the possibility would be absolutely welcomed.  While that may be good news to investors, the P.M. is coming under fire from Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA.  The grassroots organization contends that there has been an about-face since days of yore when PM Barrow, at the time, was Leader of the Opposition.  Barrow was staunchly opposed to the construction of a cruise facility in Port Loyola when former Prime Minister Said Musa, on behalf of the Government of Belize, entered into agreement with businessman Luke Espat.  Well, the table has turned and the P.M. has had a change of heart. COLA maintains that the environmental concerns of 2004 are very much alive in 2016.


Geovanni Brackett

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“We’ve always supported the urgency to build and establish a cruise terminal that is modernized and that can provide docking facilities for not only ships but Oasis Class ships.  That has not changed.  For us at COLA, we believe that the previous project under Luke Espat had a lot of red flags that the previous opposition, now government, you had strong dissent and concerns from the now-prime minister, then Leader of the Opposition.  You have the issue of the environmental impact assessment by the now-Minister of Education Patrick Faber who actually was very concerned about the issue of flooding in that area.  I believe that those [issues] no matter how you disguise the project itself, those concerns will remain.  For us there are a lot of multi-layered issues related to this project.  COLA is meeting tonight to further flesh out its position but as it is we believe that with the previous preliminary assessment that was done it showed that with that kind of dredging that had taken place already had some impact on flooding in that community.  Now there are thousands of people living in that area that we have to be careful; we have not pumped enough into the south side to the level of where we have beautified it [like what] the north side has.  Pushing a project of that magnitude in that area has serious implications and not only environmental but also sociopolitical impact within that area that needs to be taken into consideration.”

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