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Apr 29, 2022

Can Belize be Sanctioned for Flouting CITES Regulations?

Shyne Barrow

Notwithstanding the argument that Belize hasn’t passed into law any CITES-related legislation, the Leader of the Opposition says that as a signatory to the convention, Belize is still obligated to abide by the existing regulations.  Barrow fears that Belize can face sanctions for circumventing the CITES regulations.


Shyne Barrow, Leader of the Opposition

“That does not excuse the sanctions that will come because Belize is a signatory.  The domestic legislation of our international obligations does not excuse us from said obligations.  So we still are now at risk of being sanctioned because we have violated a convention that we have signed on to.  So that is a matter of ramification that we have to consider when taking these actions.  But what is most pressing is the type of demoralization that takes place when public officers have to be in fear to discharge their jobs, to discharge their duties with the integrity that we ask them to discharge the duties.  I see all types of motions coming to the House about good governance.  I see all types of training that the Minister of Public Service is proud to offer plaques and certificates and good governance training.  This type of behavior, this egregious breach of the obligation of the highest of this land when it comes to that type of abuse of power smacks in the face of everything that we are training our public officers to adhere to when it comes to best practices.”


Isani Cayetano

“Granted.  Nonetheless, if the highest office in the land calls in a favor, requests that a public officer be able to carry out a certain directive, should not…”


Shyne Barrow

“That is corruption.  That is corruption in a democracy.  This is not Vladimir Putin, this not Fidel Castro, this is not Maduro in Venezuela where, you know, prime ministers and presidents can do what they want and democracy is some façade and we’re a banana republic.  No minister, no prime minister can call in any favor.  That’s why we have checks and balances, a judiciary and we have public officers who are enforcers of the policies and the legislations that we have the honor of passing in the House.  We don’t have the honor of passing those legislations to turn around and say, “Oh well, I da prime minister soh ih noh matter weh di policy seh.  Da me di call yoh, di big man di call yoh and I know di mother-in-law and the mother-in-law pass you di phone.  You fi do weh I tell you fi do.”  That is not a democracy, sir.  That is not what the PUP promised they would be, they railed against that for thirteen years and found every example of nepotism and cronyism and influence peddling that they could find.  So now we expect better.”

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