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Dec 11, 2017

Why is Yok Balum Cave Closed?

Oscar Requeña

Friday’s final meeting of the House of Representatives for 2017 passed by with not excessive fanfare and fuss, as the parliamentarians got through a relatively light schedule around the stroke of noon. As usual on the adjournment, various issues of regional and occasional national importance were raised. For residents of Santa Cruz village in the Toledo District, it is a concern that they are not able to access the Yok Balum Cave system for tourism purposes, because it is closed for research. Area representative Oscar Requeña’s impassioned statements in support of the village appear to have temporarily melted the heart of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who humorously complimented the junior Toledo West representative while also admonishing him for not pursuing a simpler solution.


Oscar Requeña, Area Rep., Toledo West

“I have been in communication with the chairman of Santa Cruz village, one Mister Jose Mes, and he has indicated to me that as early as March, specifically it was March the second, that a letter was sent from the Institute of Archaeology, basically saying that tour guides, tourists, no visitors would be allowed to visit the area, because the area is being used for research purposes; that they are still doing research.  [The villagers] confirm that it has been well over a year and a half that absolutely no research, nothing has been done in the area. So why is it that the Institute of Archaeology has instructed that no one can access the area? It just doesn’t make sense. Our people are impoverished; they lack job opportunities in the Toledo District. Here we have people that want to help themselves; they want to empower themselves using our natural resources. So in my mind it is counter-productive for the Institute to give such instructions.”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“You are a member of the National Assembly; you are the area representative for Toledo West. At one time you and the Minister of N.I.C.H. appear to have been bosom buddies. And even in the House, I see you quarrelling but like unu di throw lee kisses after. Ultimately, it strikes me that you have a good personal relationship; but even if you don’t have a good personal relationship you surely must have a good professional relationship. Why you come here and make all this noise without simply call the man and say, ‘Patrick, dis da weh di happen down yah.’ If you had done that and laid out these problems, made your case and nothing happens, then I could understand; but you noh even make a effort to solve the thing. Instead you come here want to make noise and grandstand and I keep telling you – dehn people down yanda noh gah radio, deh no di hear you! (Interruption) So you noh need to do it. And listen to me, you don’t need to impress us; we are impressed like hell wih you already. You don’t need to impress us anymore. You are the “Gorgon,” everybody know when you get up fi talk, thing wah happen.”


The Prime Minister agreed to make a call in support of Requena’s entreaty.

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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1 Response for “Why is Yok Balum Cave Closed?”

  1. Weareonecountry says:

    Mr. Prime Minister, it is such a shame on you to mock the people of Toledo in such a manner. You sir probably have not even been to Toledo. Anyway what a disgrace you are! And how professional of you to talk in this manner. I dont wish bad for you but sometimes in life we got to watch our tongue as nature and divine intervention , karma always has a way to come back and hit us. No matter how low or how high you are in this life, we are all the same, we all have needs and in the end we are all headed in the same direction. From the dust we came and shall return to the dust, and whatever riches or highness we might possess on this earth, will not be able to take none with us when our life is over.

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