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Sep 12, 2016

Channel Five was Correct; Chamber’s New Position Announced before Letter to P.M.

The letter from the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is crystal clear. On Thursday, as we reported, a decision was taken by its executive that the private sector would support a Senate Select investigation, in line with its vote on August thirty-first.  Our report was fact-checked with various sources and confirmed but somehow, the PM did not get the memo.  In his press conference on Friday, he publicly called out our report as inaccurate. Today, when we spoke with the President of the Chamber, we raised the question with him since the PM said he had spoken to him before the press conference.


Isani Cayetano

“On Thursday, Channel Five was first to report that the Chamber had a change of position with regards to whether or not it supports either a Joint Select Committee or a Senate Select Committee and it seems as if though we may have preempted the decision coming out from the Chamber’s meeting with PM Barrow that same Thursday.  Can you clarify to us what was said because I know the following day PM went on record to say that we reported erroneously on this position that the Chamber took during Thursday’s meeting?”


On the Phone: Nikita Usher, President, BCCI

“The Chamber has a media protocol and in this case only the president is authorized to speak on behalf of the Chamber and whosoever that president is, when it was a year ago it was Tux’s turn to speak and this time around it is unfortunately or fortunately, whichever way it is, it is a media protocol that only the president is allowed to speak.  There was some discussion with regards to what position would be taken.  The discussion was that we would have a letter that would be sent to the PM.  That was the discussion that summarized what’s the Chamber’s position.  That was done in accordance with what was agreed upon.  That letter was sent on Friday and after which the discussion was or the decision of the Chamber was that we will not take a media position until Monday.  It’s a bit of courtesy that has to be extended to the Office of the Prime Minister and equally any other offices that we write, we have to allow whosoever you’re writing to the chance to have read, digest and make their response to it before you actually go on media coverage and therefore that was the position taken by BCCI.”

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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