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Jan 7, 2013

Liquor Store Blues in Orange Walk own

Josue Carballo

The Orange Walk Town Council, led by Mayor Kevin Bernard, is outraged over a last-minute decision taken by the Ministry of Local Government to scrap a recommended list of members who were recently named to a new Liquor Licensing Board.  According to the town council, Minister of Local Government Godwin Hulse had initially approved the list and trained them; however, they were only informed of the unexpected change this morning when the mayor, as an ex-officio member, was re-invited to sit on the board.  In an issue released earlier today, the council lashed out at the ministry, stating that the impulsive decision was politically influenced.  Deputy Mayor Josue Carballo spoke with News Five today.


Josue Carballo, Deputy Mayor, Orange Walk Town

“Every year there is a nomination of appointment of a board given by the Minister to work from January until December. We have been asked and through the mayor a list was submitted—recommendations given—and these persons went as far as being trained last week by the ministry in areas of liquor licensing and the board and legislation. And so it was almost taken as a given that this group will be working as the board and assisting for this year. however, this morning the mayor received a letter of invitation; inviting him to the board as an ex-officio member and there is the list, a completely different list was given—people that in no way we even had the knowledge of that they will be working as the board and so it definitely came as a surprise.”


Isani Cayetano

“You guys are alleging that there may have been some form of political influence or interference with regards to the composition of this new list of board members. What gives you that impression?”


Josue Carballo

“Well first of all, what we believe is that in all fairness and in all bipartisan and in an inclusive approach, we were asked to recommend certain people. We chose people from the wider community: people in the education level, other people that have had years of experience working within the community and as such the board was recommended. And it is just strange as to how it just happened all of a sudden; a new board was again nominated. And why we are saying that there are some signs of political interference is that we are not getting that bipartisan approach; that collaboration from the ministry. In other times they would come and sit down with you, discuss the board; how it’s gonna be working; how were gonna be moving forward because we collect most of the revenues the board approves. So it is supposed to be a very amicable and ongoing relationship that you have with the board. However, we expected if not all, at least some of the people that we recommended to be a part of the board. These people already have had the training; these people were already willing to work. These are people offering of their free time to be a part of the board and now we are getting people that are known affiliates of the United Democratic Party within the town; working in the Board. I think at these particular times when security is a big issue; when you are talking about safety, we are talking about better controls within town, I think the approach should be all inclusive. It should not just be people that are known—people that have always been out there as operatives for a specific party. It should be more a community and an open approach. That’s the least we expect and that’s what we are asking the minister in good judgment to reconsider because only him and him alone we know can appoint the board. But we are asking him to also consider the serious recommendation that we did; the people that are prepared and willing. And we ask him to include also these members and for us to take on a different approach on the way we do things and the way we do our appointments.”


According to the Deputy Mayor, a meeting was scheduled with the initial list of board members today, but had to be cancelled as a result of the new appointments.

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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8 Responses for “Liquor Store Blues in Orange Walk own”

  1. melinda says:

    He wanted to nominate former PUP member on the board, Palacio, known in orange walk as the CHINESE TERRORIST since the Chinese establishments would tremble when they saw him, flinching from the fleecing they will get!!

  2. Bo says:

    @ Melinda

    You are totally right…

  3. rod says:

    you deserve whatever you get for being dumb for sitting back and taking whatever this corrupt pm and gov. do to you wake up belizeans wake up or you will wake up one day and be a slave to this pm and gov. wake up.

  4. me says:

    This is the reason our country can’t move forward it is so corrupt, the government keep putting people because of political affiliation instead of using a wider selection. The board should compromise of both party affiliates. This nonsense should stop. I agree with the Deputy Mayor “It should be more a community and an open approach.”

  5. Corozal DaRass says:

    Channel 5 should look into the corruption of the Liquor Licensing Board of Corozal Town.
    Each establishment needs to pay each board member $50 under the table to start. Plus a bottle of liquor.
    Night clubs that are soundproof have no business because the cronies get to have loud open air dances until 4 am. Old people and children can not sleep because of the loud dances every weekend. Broken bottles and drunken minors litter the streets.
    The mayor seems to have his office in the casino and when he is in the town hall he is too paranoid to see anyone. He just lives peeping through the blinds.
    No one notices Corozal where corruption reigns supreme and goes unnoticed by the rest of Belize.

  6. Storm says:

    Who’s ready for a People Power movement to get the Jewel back on track?

    Public officials, whether Liquor Board members or Ministers, should be in prison if they try to shake-down businesses for bribes, but today that is the accepted way of doing business almost everywhere in the Jewel.

    After the revolution — up against the wall!

  7. william freda says:

    why is a local matter like liquor license being controlled by a minister. Most of these
    guys don’t even have a high school diploma but are involved in civil management purely
    at the wim of politics. So sad to see the Belizean government struggle with the most mundane
    of issues.

  8. Kevin Bernard says:

    Melinda and Bo you are totally mistaken and shows that you all see no further than your nose. The 4 members we recommended are as follows:
    Belizario Carballo – former principal of muffles college and a man of principle
    ricardo Burgos – former mayor of orange walk town and business man
    Loreli Gongora – teacher at bishop Martin high school
    Mrs. Castillo – owner of tans pizza and retired teacher

    The other members were the same and such you all need to get your facts right. This council is not about putting any person on committees that will serve their own self interest,but people that will do. Things that is fair and right.

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