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Aug 30, 2023

No Permit Granted, But U.D.P. will Picket Investment Summit

The 2023 Belize Investment Summit gets underway on Thursday morning in San Pedro.  Businesses, of all sizes, as well as entrepreneurs from across the region will converge on the island of Ambergris Caye to participate in the two-day event being hosted by the Briceño administration.  But the conference comes at a time when there are serious concerns being raised by the opposition, including the state of crime and violence, the ever-increasing cost of living, as well as the sharp increase in fuel prices.  Ahead of the summit, the United Democratic Party wrote to the Commissioner of Police seeking a permit to demonstrate outside of the venue.  That request has been rejected by ComPol Chester Williams.  Nonetheless, the U.D.P. says it will mobilize supporters to picket the event.  We begin our newscast tonight with an interview with Chairman Michael Peyrefitte.


Mike Peyrefitte

Mike Peyrefitte, Chairman, United Democratic Party

“We wrote, the party wrote to the police indicating that we wanted to demonstrate and the response was officially that we can’t do it or that we can do it but not on the days.  I mean, there’s a voice note with the Commissioner saying [that] we can demonstrate on the days that they are not having the summit, which defeats the whole point.  I am not aware that there is a better time to protest or to show your feelings about the government.  I mean, they protest at the United Nations, you know.  They protest at G7 summits, the protest at Commonwealth gatherings.  I don’t know what’s so special about this place or this group of people that they are beyond seeing a protest.  They’re supposed to be stone cold businesspeople and they’re accustomed to a few placards and showing no favor for the government and the area rep for Belize Rural South.  There was that denial, but of course there are other ways within the law where you can have your voices be heard and have it be just as effective as a demonstration because you don’t have to necessarily demonstrate, you can picket.  Last time I checked, the street that passes in front of where they are having the summit is a public road, nobody owns the road and you can’t stop citizens from passing there.  You cannot stop people, under the constitution, from expressing their feelings or their thoughts on situations that have to do with current issues.  So we leave all our options open.”

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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