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Jan 16, 2013

Does cabinet support minister’s action to burn half a million dollars of rosewood?

Belizeans have not been at all reticent about weighing in on the rosewood burning issue.  Last Friday morning in Golden Stream, Minister Lisel Alamilla set on fire a stock of confiscated rosewood from a bust that yielded over seven hundred flitches. It was the Minister’s way of signaling her frustration since even with a moratorium in place, the extraction of the rosewood is proceeding.    APAMO has come out in support of the minister’s actions, but otherwise condemnation has been widespread and, to put it nicely, not complimentary of Minister Alamilla. Even as the incident was ventilated in the press, the Independence police made another bust on Tuesday.  But government has been silent on the issue, with no official word coming forth. Well, we got word today and while it may not be in the form of a Cabinet release, it is coming from two senior and very important members of Cabinet.


Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington

“Actually that is a matter which we discuss in the cabinet. And we are very much of the view really that she didn’t have the legal authority to do it. On the basis that it is a difficult situation for her and she was trying to really deal and cope with a situation which she thought needed urgent and immediate attention. And that is how she thought she should do with it. all of us, who are ministers of cabinet, from time to time make lapses in judgment and take decisions which is not necessarily consistent with what the cabinet would agree to take. But we don’t crucify her for that. We understand that she is a young person and she wanted to do good. Her intention as not to do harm to anyone, but to correct a situation which she thought was out of hand.”


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“We can’t get around that issue. I believe that it was made clear that it was not a proper action. The government certainly made that clear that in fact it is government property once it is confiscated and that the minister may not have had the authority to do that. But that is what it is. And we and you have noticed that there have been subsequent confiscation of illegal rosewood and the response coming from that ministry and the minister is that it will not be burnt—unless it goes through the proper procedure. But you know we can vary in opinion as to whether or not destroying the wood in that way once the proper permission is received is the proper thing to do or is it to give it out to other entities. But I certainly support the minister in so far as her goal and objective was to send a very loud statement to anybody who is engaged in this illegal activity; that it will not be tolerated.”

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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15 Responses for “Does cabinet support minister’s action to burn half a million dollars of rosewood?”

  1. Storm says:

    Hey, Faber — of all ministers you should be quiet about the misuse of government property. How do you explain your brother destroying your government truck on a 4 a.m. drunken joyride? You can’t pass the buck on that one!

  2. Lisa Lamb says:

    That was not only a bad decision but an irresponsible one, due to the fact that no one minister or any government officer should be making decisions on their own without partner up with another person for some check and balances on your thoughts before your actions is executed. These Rose wood could have been sold or given to the correctional system for the inmates to work with and the finished product could have been sold at Bliss Institute.

  3. Eye in the Sky says:

    Ya what the minister going to do if they catch someone with a jade head or something like that?
    Smash It ??????????

    Learn to use your head ministers. It is not only for wearing a hat !!!!!!!

  4. jungle says:

    just because she is a minister, but the real truth is that she is not a minister to represent any community, it is a minister for Dean Barrow, nobody voted for her, so we do not respect her acction at all, we comdem it, as what we have read on face book , her sence is in her ……. what a shame on faber and the other minister, donate it to inmates

  5. Storm says:

    The ministers need to enact laws to make punishment MUCH harsher for illegal logging, like 10 years in prison MANDATORY for every tree cut, and confiscation of ALL of a defendant’s property.

    The current $1,000 fine is a joke, just a cost of doing business IF you get caught. And Gapi and his gang usually don’t get caught.

  6. orangewalkenio says:

    the rosewood should have been sold since it is not illegal in the world..then take the money and directly put it into a concrete project for the Mayan community….then you do the same thing with all other confiscations..the money be used to improve the community where it was gotten frm…in this way then the communities know that if i report illegal logging i will benefit from it…this way the communities become the watchdogs…but you haftu to be transparent with them and tell them this is what we got from the confiscation and we are going to build a classroom, a clinic, improve water system, or something of the sort… d get emotional Ms. Alamilla…stop and think…..I love mi country mein….we need fi fix it….

  7. shabba says:

    burn it. she did it because the rosewood was being dealed by the deputy prime minister’s brother. So after the confiscation it would still reach their hands and the market. Good job.

  8. marco says:

    Don’t let it happen again, tek yu time befoe yu act!

  9. Retired CEO says:

    This was a very unfortunate or delibrate decision made by a minister that was hand picked by the PM on the basis of nepotism. The facts of this matter is yet to be known. This naive individual is playing Judge, jury and cheif excecutioner. Ironically, what is very sad about this situation is that, this individual was never elected by the people. Nowthen, with all that have been said and done, the minister Alamilla needs to understand that Jewel and its’ natural resources are not her personal property or anyone. As a minister of government one needs to understand that there is no room for emotional decisions and misjudgement. This decision should have been left up to the Judicial system or cabinet and not the minister. The Natural resources/comodities are the property of the entire Nation as a whole, not an individual, group, or party but the Nation of Belize. The action/behavior of this minister is emotionally selfish, persona, downright foolish, irrational and irresponsible. From the PM down to the ministers they were all elected/selected to serve the well being of the populace. Now, if this was a case of illicit drugs, alcohol, cigarettes or any contraband, etc, one could understand the situation and would therefore aggree with her actions. But in the light of all the poverty that exsist in the jewel, how could any minister justify this sort of assinine irrational behavior. Exactly what is the point?, that she is trying to prove. Her actions does not prove anything nor serve anyone. In short this is a diservice to the nation/populace and government who claims it cannot pay its’ bills. $400.000 is not a heck of alot of money, but many individulas, families and communiy could have benefited from it. Why send it up in flames/smokes. For this reason and many more there should be an investigation into this matter leading up to the removal of this dumb individual from office. Belizeans wake up the current leadership does not have the well being of the people at heart. Belizeans, Rise up against nepotism, cronieism and curruption. Call for a the removal of this unscrupolus self centered and irresponsible minister. This is a disgrace to the Nation. These indiviuals are living high off the hog, while facelss, namelss Belizeans are living in poverty.

  10. ceo says:

    You know what…? The one main point that I took from these guys comments that they are not doing their job because if they were doing their job, policies and procedures would have been revised and in place on how these situations should be handled. Then Alamilla would have had some guidlines to folllow.

    We have no preservation officers to roam our forests and natural resources to keep tabs on what’s happening with them. We have no forward thinkers in government only reactionaries. Let us start thinking only in terns of political colors!

    As usual much chatter and no action!

  11. Amir castellanos says:

    sad to hear that we have three no branners trying to justify the foolish acts of their colleague

  12. marco says:

    Just prove the “local” belizeans have more sense that those voted in. Perhaps we should be the thinkers of our government, to make the write choices.

  13. Seletar says:

    Seriously, did anybody confirm that all the logs were actually burned to ash, or was it a little flame just for the media? I’m not sure most of the contraband rosewood wasn’t salvaged after the press left, and continued on its way into the illegal pipeline.

  14. peachyonatree says:

    Hey folks!
    I had an idea.
    What if the escalating crimes increased around the same time that violent movies, internet videos, gangster rap and other related ‘phenomenom’ hit the sEEn.

    There^ seems to be an association that was most likely no accident.
    If one wishes to ‘take over’ a nation, or ‘the’ nations of the world, first you must destablize the people therein by promoting violence in the mass media, control of media via tower that be cEash to pay or pave that way. Then indebt a country with endless warfare while eliminating the militaries on both sides of those conflict while eliminating any future resistance at the same time.
    Then if one wishes to cut to the chase, collapse all of the world’s central banks unlawful fiat currencies as dominoes unto the will of ‘another’ for the End Game of a one world digital fiat currency that will track every purchase and every balance of every individual (coUgh) or rather, the anew collective of automatons ‘on that dole’ on the take, while tears of redemption rain as thunder accents the theme of the day…..hoping they find the Right way, back to oneself as a potentially valued individual inherent by ‘means’ of one’s Creator to Be as ony one can be so as he/she may grow to value themselves while their neighbors awe in wonder as a seed is born as above from below.

    Or maybe it was all just a dream as rings of smoke through the trees.
    Return to self sufficient communities that create unique offerings to the nieghbors, barter and exchange various denominations of gold/silver as payments to settle uneven barters and…..folks cuold become as masters of their own time once again and that’s when the majic happens while children are raised in the ‘It takes a village” kind of result.

    Before I publish/post this message I noticed I must digitally press the button named (Submit)?
    Hey, isn’t there a better word for the transaction? That same word appears whenever one must use a debit/credit transaction. Subliminal programming or some-thing else?
    Oh, so many questions.
    It should take the understanding and patience of one’s Creator, (during one’s infinite soul~space within one container/shell or anothA) to have patience for such issues amongst hu-man ‘kind’.

    Good day, night, wherever one may find themself as a sThhhPark unto another.
    yayamon and so-on…..
    : D

  15. away citizen says:

    Let’s not condemn anyone for trying to do what they thought would send a message. What we should do is look at the written policies that is in place or not in place as was evident in this situation. Everyone is trying to blame someone but lets face it, our country needs help and from what we are hearing is that these items end up in the hands of the greedy people and no one benefits but themselves while all the poor still remains the poor. So be thankful that we know it is not going to the greedy despite the poor not benefiting. Has anyone seen any help from the confiscated drugs? Or all we see is the people in government getting richer and having all the fancy stuff. I am not condoning her act as it could have been used to raise cash for something worthwhile but is this what would have been done. I beg to differ.

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