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Apr 21, 2020

Government Should Come to the Aid of Livestock Producers Post Haste

John Briceño

The question of whether Chairman Pinelo is acting outside of his legal authority in prohibiting the passage of vehicles through Bullet Tree Falls remains a pertinent concern, as it sets a dangerous precedence for other communities.  On the matter of the toll, Briceño says Pinelo has no authority to impose. According to Briceño, all efforts should be made by government to facilitate the informal trade of livestock since Guatemala has a population of fourteen million and there is an existing demand for the supply of pork, beef and chicken.

 

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“The first thing that the government needs to do is to instruct the village chairman from Bullet Tree that what he is doing is illegal and he has no such authority to stop any vehicles from going through their village, because if that was the case then that means that every village in this country could stop any kind of traffic going through their village or wanting to charge them a fee.  At the end of the day, this is about money that now the chairman believes that he’s supposed to charge a fee for these trucks to pass through his village.  So that’s the first thing, and secondly then to try to facilitate with BAHA to put all the necessary safeguards on our side of the border because what happens then is that the Guatemalans then get our animals at the border and they take it into Guatemala.  As I’ve always pointed out, what leaves Belize is export, what happens in Guatemala that is Guatemala’s business.  Now I am told that the government spoke with the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and they spoke to some officials in Flores and that they said no.  But what did you expect them to say?  They cannot officially tell you yes when they know that that’s not an official border crossing.  So we need to do everything possible, starting yesterday, I mean that’s the urgency to help our farmer to be able to get the excess beef, the excess pork, the excess chicken and eggs, milk or whatever it is because Guatemala has about fourteen million to feed.”


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