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Aug 5, 2020

P.U.P. Senators on S.O.E. Extension

Louis Zabaneh

At the House, Pickstock area representative Wilfred Elrington fiercely opposed the extension calling out his own government for not doing enough to help the marginalized youths.  The discussions of poverty and crime were part and parcel of the discussions about the south side and it trickled over to the Senate today. Here’s a look at two of the dissenting voices on the S.O.E. extension.


Dr. Louis Zabaneh, P.U.P. Senator

“It was published in 2010 and it was Gayle and Mortis. One of the things you will find in there is that it says that on the south side of Belize City, the family structure is much weaker with two thirds of the fathers missing from the household. That is just one of the glaring reports that speaks to the fact that young men who do not have a father role model are more susceptible to falling into this trap where they then go and seek to find that father figure in other groups, like gangs, for example. The experts are telling this to us and if we read carefully what the experts are telling us and we give value to it, then we must create interventions that are meaningful along the lines of what we are to be guided by the results of the research. We have not seen this occur in a significant way. Therefore it means that government must prioritize its expenditures if it is serious about improving the lives of our people towards social investment as opposed to infrastructure, cement and steel investment, this hasn’t been done.  The hundreds of millions of dollars that have been prioritizing into the infrastructure policy that this government has taken has deprived investing in our social side of the equation.”


Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Lead P.U.P. Senator

“I dare to say that where we find ourselves today is as a consequence of failed government policies over the past twelve years; for the past twelve years we have seen investment – billions of dollars spent on roads and roundabout where we have hardly seen any investment in the people of the southside in Belize City or the country at large.  This government doesn’t care about the people of the south side of Belize City. The preferred to have spent seven million dollars on Faber’s Road, instead of investing in the people of the southside. With the excuse of the COVID pandemic, the first ones to suffer are the people of southside where the government has now cut back on the NHI. So, now the people have limited and sometimes no access to healthcare.  But there is no need to worry; they have given us pantry and BOOST. And what are the consequences – more poverty; more hopelessness and more crime. But let us not worry about the crime situation because they also have a solution for that because they have locked up the young men for thirty days and now they are asking us again to lock them up for another sixty days. This cannot be the cure for this situation.”

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