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Feb 9, 2023

Minister Requeña on Mike Espat’s Comment

Mike Espat

At P.G. Day less than two weeks ago, Area Representative Mike Espat was caught on video referencing the Maya communities using words that the Maya Leaders Alliance called “nothing short of racist.” It did not sit well with many, and a request has been made for an apology from Espat for the derogatory comments towards the Maya people. Today, Toledo West Area Representative Oscar Requeña, who represents a large portion of the Maya communities in the south, says that his colleague’s comments may have been taken out of context. 


Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Area Representative, Toledo West

“Belize is a multicultural, diverse nation. We are all Belizeans, whether we are Maya, East Indians, Garifuna or whatever ethnic group. We have all coexisted in harmony; we have lived together, we have appreciated all the diversity, the strength that we all bring as Belizeans. So first and foremost we are all Belizeans. I believe that in the case of the Honourable Mike Espat comments, it is unfortunate that some people, I believe, took it out of context. Some people believe that he may have used the wrong term. I want to say that it is unfortunate, but I want to say that as leaders we have challenges, our constituencies have a lot of demands. And I really think that the Honourable Mike Espat was speaking to some of the challenges, some of the issues that he faces in his constituency.”

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