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Sep 29, 2011

Consultation heard on the 9th Amendment in Cayo

In the Cayo District, the Ninth Amendment got unequivocal thumbs up. The Novelo’s Convention Centre was overflowing with party supporters on Wednesday evening. The line snaked through the building and across the back even before the proceedings began. The official poll put the vote at two hundred and sixty-eight to forty-four. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Consultation on the much debated Ninth Amendment Bill resumed in Santa Elena Town on Wednesday with strong representation from residents of the Cayo District, particularly the townships of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo.  Like previous sessions held in other parts of the country last night’s gathering was another political extravaganza drawn heavily along party lines.  Despite the fact that discussions on the proposed changes to the constitution, in light of government’s recent acquisition of public utilities, have long been reduced to what many consider a mockery it was full house at the Novelo’s Convention Center.  The turnout was arguably the largest attendance since the start of the countrywide series over a month ago.

Nick Ruiz

Nick Ruiz, Mayor, Benque Viejo del Carmen

“I am the mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen and I support the Ninth Amendment Bill and I will tell you why, and I will tell you why.  Our country has never before needed us so much.  It is under attack from foreign influence and I must tell you [that] I was part of that 2004/2005 historic uprising from the teachers and the unions who could not tolerate the pillage, the plunder and the rape of our national assets.  We don’t want those days to return.”

U.D.P. Mayor Nick Ruiz of Benque Viejo was first to support to the bill, followed by a line of party loyalists.  The group made the journey from the westernmost municipality to affirm its encouragement for the suggested changes.

Jameel Menendez

Noticeably absent was PUP Party Leader John Briceno and his deputy Francis Fonseca, both members of the Constitution and Foreign Affairs Committee.  Interestingly, along with their absence was a weak presence by the opposition.

Jameel Menendez, Against 9th Amendment

“I say no the Ninth Amendment.”

Belarmino Garcia

“Goodnight my name is Belarmino Garcia.  I am from Cayo North and I say no to the Ninth Amendment.”

Paul Harris

Paul Harris

“My name is Paul Harris for Cayo North.  I say no also to the Ninth Amendment.”

Of the multitude that showed up for the consultation three hundred and twelve men, women and a few children formed a snaking queue to voice their positions on the Ninth Amendment Bill. When it was all said and done the supporters of the United Democratic Party had outnumbered those who objected to the bill by a ratio of two hundred and sixty eight to forty-four.  Favor for the Ninth Amendment Bill was indeed overwhelming; however, the format of one minute per person clearly did not lend sufficient time for any explanations as to why there was support or objection to the proposed amendment, save for a few.

Richard Anthony Rosado

Richard Anthony Rosado, Supports Ninth Amendment

“I came here tonight to join the thousands of Belizeans in supporting the Ninth Amendment.  I believe that it is laudable.  I believe that it is commendable.  I believe that it is worthy of praise on behalf of the Government of Belize and the Prime Minister to enshrine in the constitution that the people retain majority ownership of the utilities.  For this I say yes, yes, yes to the ninth.”

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

The last round of consultations will take place in Belmopan next Wednesday. Thereafter, the amendment goes back to the House.

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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20 Responses for “Consultation heard on the 9th Amendment in Cayo”

  1. Rod says:

    Ustedes son UNOs estupidos no ven que barrow solo le importa lo que pasa a Los negros el ha dicho que el Odia a todos Los Latinos no ven que todos Los trabahos buenos el solo pone un Negro en el puesto si ustedes no pueden ver esto estan ciegos el a dicho no le Gustavo nigun Latino no puddle freer que la jente de Cayley son tan estupidos.

  2. ABC says:

    These Consultations are a waste of time and a distraction from the real issue. I am ashamed of these ‘Cayo People’, this was the worst ever, so many of those people do not even know which ‘los nueve’ they are supporting, they must have been given a lee johnny cake to b there, or maybe a beer, such an embarrassment.

  3. Benqueno says:

    Hey…ABC…who cares if we the Cayo People dont understand the meaning of the 9th Amendment…we are not lawyers to define the meaning of that….as long as our honest and reliable leaders tells us to say “YES” to it….SO SHALL IT BE…all our side of the table need is the “YESES” even though i wasnt there but i still support it….so YES, YES, YES “capishhhh

  4. Belizean Diaspora says:

    Honestly, we are not being consulted upon the changes that this amendment will bring about, and the people who are genuinely concerned about the impact of such serious legislation are not being listened to. Both the Government and the Opposition should stop playing political football with the 9th Amendment, and allow us to either seriously voice our concerns and suggestions about this measure, or put it to a vote to see who really supports this. This consultation process has become nothing more than a sick joke in the eyes of the people, and the jokers don’t give a damn what we really think.

  5. someone says:

    Benqueno, that explains why our country is in this mess. We bow down to the master and say yes. Its time to get educated. Get neutral people into your community and educate your people so they can make informed decisions. Ever heard the term “Education empowers a nation”?

  6. BelizeanToTheBone says:

    The majority of people from Cayo North who attended this consultation received 50 dollars from the Member of Cayo North – I saw him with my own eyes handing the money to his constituents.

    At the end of the day, those same people will suffer the ramifications of this corrupt Government. Not only that but also putting our democracy at risk.

    Life is not fair.

  7. unbiased says:

    @ benqueno, now we can understand why benque is in such degrading conditions with people like you who bow down and apparently with no personal point of view. this your honest and reliable government just gave you a new building which is supposed to be a clinic without improvement in the services; apparently the newly paved streets “which by the way i love to see the one by Erwin Contreras Office is enough for you” after all we all get what we deserve!
    Please dont call yourself benqueno cause you are causing shame on the real benquenos who have sense

  8. Elgin Martinez says:

    Receive $50.00 and then suffer for the next Five years,don’t make sense to me.

  9. Concerned Belizean says:

    First lets clarify this, not all Cayo people are stupid. That is the reason why only a the stupid went out there are support this 9th amendment. The ones that went out there to support it are selling there freedom for a beer, a $50, a johnny cake or whatever. Maybe if they didn’t make it political and start listening to the people the rest of the people from Cayo would have gone out and state there opinion on it. Todos los idiotas que salieron a apoyar la cautividad de nuestros derechos deverian son una verguenza para nosotros los del cayo.

  10. belizeanpride says:

    THAK YOU Concerned Belizean for the clarification.
    lo que pasa es que hay jente que porque es de su partido no le importa si la propuesta le afectara en el futuro, grita si quierro el 9th amendment sin pensar lo que le viene despues. son jente ciego que va por el partido y no por la propuesta si es bueno o no. son jente cegado por la politica sucia.
    esto si es una verguenza para nuestros hijos que vienen creciendo viendo como nos comportamos sin pensar en sus futturos de ellos. jente del cayo, piensen bien si esta propuesta combiene sea que seas azul o rojo no vayas por el partido que te guste es algo que nos afectara cual partido quede despues de las eleciones y mas alla. que lastima ver gente como benqueno
    que dicieWHO CARE IF WE THE PEOPLE FROM CAYO DON’T UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THE 9TH AMENDMENT esto es ser un buro que no le importa de el, del vecino, de su familia, del futuro de sus hijos. damn!! what a nerd benqueno grow up man get educated please.

  11. Barrow says:

    Now yes we got them stupid Spanish where we wanted them, mash up under our shoes and will keep them that way…hehehe

  12. Diehard Belizean says:

    Well, I went with the intention of giving my well-though out opinion on the 9th Amendment, and when I reached there I noticed a large number of buses and I then realized it was sham – a set up.

    Patrick Faber said that he will be respectful and asked all to be respectful but as soon as someone said s/he was against and started to explain Faber jumped in and contradicted the person. That is no way to LISTEN and RESPECT and that was NO CONSULTATION. He allowed Nick Ruiz and other udp’s to make speeches, but when others who were not in favour and started to explain, they were stopped.

    When I heard UDP Elvin Penner say that the occasion was “a political war” , I decided to leave. That was a ridiculous waste of time.

    I had checked out the movements of Elvin Penner, Erwin Contreras, and Rene Montero from before the “consultation” and I knew people were just paid and bussed early to go and say NO. They were also asked to be seated close to the side so at the indicated time they would quickly move to the queue. Others who work at the Town Boards, had received selective scholarships or placed in positions jumped up and down to say NO.

    Patrick Faber also emphasized how many had said YES as compared to how many said NO. Patrick used well-planned psychological strategies to make those who wanted to go up and say NO, just give up. I don’t blame them. Personally, I will not participate in a sham.

    I prefer that we go to a referendum where it will be confidential where all can go without fear to cast our votes. That occasion in Santa Elena was no consultation, it was a LIE…

  13. Diehard Belizean says:

    There is one thing though that many may not know.

    Students from villages like Buena Vista, Billy White, Duck Run and others, who go to high schools like Sacred Heart College and Eden SDA could be seen at that later hour still wearing their uniforms. This was because Penner and Montero told them that they wait until the end of the sham “consultation” for them to catch the bus to their villages.

    Those “honourable” representatives punished those poor students because they used the school buses to bring those poor villagers who desperately need $50 to come to the Novelo’s Convention Centre to say Yes.

    As much as the “honourables” prepared the people one could know that they just said what they were told to say, but were not aware of the sham. There were villagers who said, “Digo si al noveno mandamiento” meaning , “I say yes to the 9th Commandment.”

    What a sad day!!! Let’s pray for Belize and for those who have the power now that they change their ways. LONG LIVE BELIZE!!!

  14. Steve says:

    You are right, Concerned Belizean!! The paid political lackeys don’t think about their future. They are living for the present without thinking that their future is at stake. Enjoy today and suffer tomorrow is their motto in life. It’s time for Belizeans to become more outspoken and to learn to defend their rights. There should be zero tolerance for leaders (PMs) to advocate Imperialism, colonialism, and nepotism. Many leaders cherish the fact that Belizeans should remain in abject poverty and ignorance. There is no place for this in modern times. WAKE UP BELIZE

  15. korn says:

    Hey you so called Benqueño I can bet you didn’t finish school don’t such a fool. What happened in Cayo consutation on “9th” was of no good becuase there people participating who don’t even have a voters ID card. Hence how can someone who isn’t a complete BELIZEAN can participate on an activity like this????????????????????????????????????? I totally agree with “unbiased”

  16. Manuel Almendar says:


  17. JahKid says:

    All you people need to mature, you the so educated and feel that you know too much, well I tell you, if you can think for others how comes you have so much trouble in your homes. You can’t even deal with your own kids and are cheaters on your wife. I am not forced to say what I’m saying but leave people to express themselves the way they believe. It doesn’t matter who is in power, we suffer the consequences of the wrong that they do. @Ron you are racist, and I know you are a black man but just want to stir anger in people. Thanks to all that ignore your continued stupidity. Stop instigating, I’ve seen many of your comments and they are really disturbing. Get yourself off your bottom and educate the people if you are so educated. Prostate cancer will kill you if you remain in your @$$ instigating. Peace and Love my Brethren Belizeans.

  18. Cari says:

    The truth is this, if you are against the 9th ammendment then you are considered to be against the UDP. The cayo is ruled by maily UDP leaders, and we need them to support us with grants, and other financial necessities. People with scarce financial resources will support anything the UDP leaders do if it means getting financial support from them. THAT IS OUR REALITY.

  19. Cari says:

    These consultations are of no benefit to belizean people. Reason being that they get majority of UDP supporters to attend and to speak. There are so many other people that do not support the 9th ammendment but are not given the chance to speak or they simply don’t like being in these public consultations where they will be disrespected by others.

  20. Liberty and Freedom says:

    It is time that the media and P.U.P. get the word out concerning the impact on civil rights by ratification of the 9th Amendment. The citizens of Belize need to be informed in the most simple terms possible concerning the loss of personal freedoms that have been proposed by Mr. Barrow.
    He is a minion of the One World elite that want to control and nationalize everything at the expense of the individual.

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