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Aug 25, 2011

Consultations on 9th Amendment road trip to Corozal

Patrick Faber

The Bar Association and the Corozal Rural BNTU today said no to the ninth. Up north, one Wednesday night the Government held public hearings on the revised Ninth Amendment. And as it was on the first round in Belize City, the hearing had an air of politics. The U.D.P. was better organized and dominated the consultations convened at the Civic Centre. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

The consultations on the ninth amendment to the constitution went on a road trip to Corozal Town. The minister of education spoke of the changes to the ninth amendment that was encouraged after negotiations with the Council of Churches.

Patrick Faber, Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee

“The decision to make the changes or the proposal to make the changes comes from the Cabinet, the Executive body, and it is something that the constitution and foreign affairs committee, the members that are on the government’s side have agreed to make outside of those meetings with the churches. So when next we go back, we will make those changes official. We’re proposing to take out the words “and the law passed by the National Assembly to alter any of the provisions of this constitution which is passed in conformity with this section shall not be opened to challenge in any court of law on any ground whatsoever.” So that is being proposed to be removed and we will delete the words that follow the comma. “and no court shall inquire into the constitutionality, legality or validity of the said acquisitions notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in section seventeen, section twenty or any other provision of this constitution or any other law or rule of practice.”

Raul Rosado

And after presentations by the Solicitor General’s Office, questions were forwarded by Corozalenos.

Raul Rosado, Corozal Resident

“The ninth amendment is being fully supported for the simple reason that once signed it is signed into law, the people of this country can sleep at night knowing that they will wake up the next morning and that the public utilities will still be in the hands of the general public and the government of Belize and there will be absolutely no room, no backdoor, where there can be sweetheart deals behind closed doors.”

Sergio Balam

Sergio Balam, Corozal Resident

“For me it is very clear with this proposal, the government of Belize is reiterating its willingness to protect the national interest of country. once again the government of Belize is demonstrating its capability to govern our country in an effective, efficient and responsible manner.

Bernardino Cowo, Corozal Resident

Bernardino Cowo

“On behalf of majority of the village councils of Corozal, I come to support ninth amendment to the constitution because we believe that this amendment when passed as a law will put out an end to any future government from selling our public utilities.”

Narcisio Flores

Narcisio Flores, Corozal Resident

“I support the ninth amendment because it will bring benefit to the Belizean people it will bring benefit to our families and we pay the bills. We pay light bill, we pay water bill and telephone bills, so why we noh have all those utilities to the Belizean people because still we pay it.”

Pablo Marin, Minister of Health

Pablo Marin

“When u sit in cabinet and you see a group that owns one of our utilities; the first one like B.E.L. and then hearing that we have to take them out of their mess and then they take us in ransom and say you know what, they are going to cut off electricity to our people. I think that is something that the people of Belize will never be satisfied of.”

Octaviano Mes

Octaviano Mes, Corozal Resident

“I stand in full support of the ninth amendment bill simply because it provides a form of security to our national assets.”

Opposition to the amendment in its new form was scant.

Corozal Resident

Corozal Resident

“I note however that before you get to the public utilities section, what we seem to be doing is putting parliament above the constitution and I don’t know if that is what the people of Belize want. I would venture that if that is what is expected, then why not put it to a referendum and see what the people want.”

Petrorino Cob

Petrorino Cob, Corozal Resident

“I think that if we allow this amendment to pass, we are saying we no longer want a democratic or live a democratic society because with what is going with the government, we are talking about public utilities. After three years to now, ladies and gentlemen, have you ever seen a reduction in your telephone bills, in your light bills, in your water bills? We have not seen that.”

Elva Perez, Teacher

Elva Perez

“It is time to stop fooling, misleading the people that the government is trying to violate their rights. The mere fact that the government is willing to make changes to delete those controversial clauses is indicative that this government is listening to the people. So put all that political propaganda aside. I fully support the ninth amendment bill.”

John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of Opposition

“To the teacher that just spoke before that, I also need to address the issue where she says politicians were just trying to call or raise emotions. But if the People’s United Party and the many other NGOs did not stand up and created and educated the Belizean people and alerted the Belizean people to the serious problems and concerns there were on these amendments on which I want to talk about too. The point in madam teacher, it is because we alerted the Belizean people about these concerns that then the government has decided to make some changes. Now I still believe that we still need to do some further changes.”

Carl Leacock, Corozal Resident

Carl Leacock

“I would have wished that it would have gone much further by taking back over the port and the airport. Belize is such small of a country for such utilities to be in the hands of private individuals. It is of paramount importance for our national security. We should not allow any foreigner to have control over those things.”

Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

Next week the public hearings will be held in Orange Walk Town.

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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13 Responses for “Consultations on 9th Amendment road trip to Corozal”

  1. Steve says:

    It’s a sad to see that some people are thinking about the well-being of their party. Barrow is politicizing the consultations. He wants by hooks or crooks to pass the 9th amendment. You see if Barrow becomes PM for life, only the UDP family will benefit as is happening now: who are getting scholarships? Who are getting their study leave approved? Who are getting gov’t fat contracts? Who benefits the most from the “nationalisation” saga? Who are getting new bus line permits? Who is getting recompense for the fraudulent land scams that is taking place? The liberal thinking Bzean who will vote for a parliamentarian according to his conscious will pay all the brunt for Barrow’s corrupted leadership; Bzean will get the ax through taxes and taxes to pay for the benefits of party lackeys. The 9th amendment will bring more suffering than benefits to the Bzean. Nationalisation is only a game the UDP is playing. The 9th is not needed to nationalize. If Barrow would have done the nationalization in a clean and correct manner then gov’t would not have the problems in the courts.

  2. rod says:

    what dont you get barrow you and your stoges dont get the message yet we do not want this to happen get it through yours stupid heads are you that stupid or are you such a moron that you do not understand that the people of belize do not want what you are offering out with barrow out with udp you all have messed up this country enough if you want to be a dictator please go live in nigeria or sudan or cuba we do not want you barrow.

  3. oscar965 says:

    So i agree that the PUP messed up the country bad…very bad…and i did not think that anyone could top that. In comes The Barrow administration. I had no complaints for the first year or so but now…no..not this…Barrow has opened up a can of worms that will forever tarnish the UDP. In this new world where the people now RISE AND STAND UP…Barrow needs to be carefull because Belizeans…blue and red are waking up..and i do not think that they will stand for another Cuba or Venezuela. The poeple of Libia who were under the rule of a mean and vicious dictator rose and brought down thier own dictator…does Barrow want that for Belize. To the UPD’s who still love Belize..wake up and put Barrow and his crew away and start with a clean slate…

  4. O.wALK OBSERVER says:

    Apparently the majority of people from Corozal are sleeping or at least that’s what the news reflects. How can they support the 9th amendment, how can political gains influence their desicions so badly; short term gains only last a while, but if passed the 9th amendment shall last a lifetime. What about the future of your sons and grandsons, do you want them to be bonded by the BARROW dictatorship and be en-slaved?? Simply I do not get it with these people!!

  5. someone says:

    Minister Marin, think before you talk, my 10-year-old niece speaks better English that you do. What is “I think that is something that the people of Belize will never be satisfied of.”???? We have to check the educational background of our leaders. Maybe that explains the mess.

  6. dj x says:

    this will have to come to an end … if the udp wins the town council election they will call for early general election and if they lose they will postone the general election … udp have to go…

  7. OR says:

    What people don’t understand is the silent part that this ammendment is saying,,,it is nor talking just of public utilities, but of your own private business that you have worked for so hard al your life,…this ammendment actually is saying that whenever they feel like they can take away any business, be private or public under their control and you will not be able to fight against it, no court will help you, imagine if they just come to ur business and say u no wat, i;m taking over your business… your eyes and not just listen to the words they say…see the entire ammendment cause every word is very powerful in any ammendment and it is also tricky so that not anybody nor everybody could understand…lets not allow this to happen…

  8. louisville,ky says:

    OR, if you truely believe the 9th ammendment is about taking away people’s private businesses,then you are an idiot….. Correction, a complete idiot.

  9. indian says:


  10. indian says:

    Look, if Brecenio is the best pup can come up with ,,, then lord help us. These people cannot speak using proper grammar. It is an embarrassment.We need intelligent folks .Pretty obvious that a Belizean with the requirements is not available.So…….lets import someone to assist us .We just cannot go on like this.look at crime….. GSU is busy harassing the wrong people. Are they afraid of the animals killing daily on the streets?It is UNBELIEVABLE.What is the police commish doing?Do these people have any idea about what needs to be done and how to plan ?Do police patrol the streets? Isn’t it their job to walk the streets and not sit in the stations ?There is no structure…no regulations,,,no process…no desire or pride in professional duties.Very few are qualified for the duties they are supposed to perform.Entering the country at the airport is the first glance of a lack of ability to perform in any modern intelligent way.Nothing professional about much of what they do or say.It is am amazing sight.this is 2011 for gods sake.

  11. Steve says:

    @lousevill, ky. Your PM cannot be trusted. Anything can happen. If they are “Quitaring” peoples’ land, the 9th amendment will give them the power to do more than that–if your private business. They will just need to say: “for the national interest of the people” and that’s it. Useless to take gov’t to court. Barrow will rule a la Animal Farm, the boss is always right. Remove the speck from your eyes and see the reality and dangers that Barrow or any future crazy PM would be able to do, once the 9th amendment is passed.

  12. Justice at every corner says:

    Raul, who in Belize does not know that when this amendment bill get signed it will become a piece of legislation? ONLY YOU. Instead of TRYING TO UNDERSTAND what this amendment is all about, why don’t you start to dedicate time to your constituents of Corozal Southeast. I am telling you brother….if you no put yourself to work LENCHITO will whip your XXXXX crazily. That is what you should do!

  13. Justice at every corner says:

    Mr. Bernardino Cowo, please man. No mek dem ful yu! ANY FUTURE GOVERMENT CAN AND HAVE THE POLITICAL POWER TO SELL OUR PUBLIC UTITIES WHENEVER THEY WANT ONCE THE HAVE 3/4 (THREE-FOURTHS) SUPPORT OF PARLIAMENT. Read your laws, man. Read them! It is a SHAME for leaders like you that don’t know what they are talking about.

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