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Apr 11, 2013

Belmopan minister explains the simplicity of rosewood fiasco

Shipments of Rosewood, which fetches top dollar in mainland China, were blocked by a moratorium by the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. But on Monday, cameras caught the removal of flitches from the Forest Department in the Capital. Both the Minister, Lisel Alamilla and the Chief Forest Officer, Wilbur Sabido, are out of the country, and answers have been few in a poorly worded press release. No information has been forthcoming regarding who would handle the export of the illegally harvested Rosewood or how the profit would be divided between government and the rogue agents who broke the law by cutting the Rosewood trees.  It’s a mystifying turn of events, but not to Minister of National Security, John Saldivar. He says it’s all perfectly simple.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

With the exception of what seem to be two deliberately vague releases, government has said absolutely nothing concrete about its plans for rosewood which has been confiscated in the past months, or its plans for the profits from the sale of that rosewood. But Minister of National Security John Saldivar is saying a lot about what he calls a good move by government. He was on the U.D.P.’s morning show today.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Minister of National Security

“We thought you know, maybe the best thing to do is get rid of the rosewood on the ground, get it out of the country so that once we get it out of the country there will be no more questions. When we find it now after this, we know it shouldn’t be here, the full extent of the law blah blah blah. So we decided…how best we could do this? Maybe government could make contact with the companies abroad, whosoever is doing it, and see how we could work that out. But government isn’t in the business of exporting. And government isn’t in the business of calling the people in China. So we said, why reinvent the wheel when we already have exporters who have their connections, have the links and already know what this thing is about. So we said the best thing to do is that all the exporters can come declare what is on the ground, deliver their thing to Port Authority, to Customs. Forestry will be there. Forestry will check, count, stamp, it will go into the container and it will be shipped. We will know how much is being shipped, we will know how much money will come from the shipment, we will know how much money we will give the exporter and government will keep a portion…fifty percent of the profit. And get rid of it. You have two weeks to do that. I think it’s two weeks they gave them. Two weeks to get this whole exercise finished and then that’s it, we close the door.”


Saldivar says that a good thing turned bad because of negligence and a failure to provide the proper information.


John Saldivar

“What we thought would have happened as a government and a Cabinet was a release would have gone out, notice would have been given, the public would have known transparently what this new decision of Cabinet was so that people know that we are not doing anything under the table. This is a decision of Cabinet as a way of dealing with rosewood that’s on the ground. Lo and behold they wah start move the thing without seh anything to the public. Plus TV, somebody called them, they went on the scene. This one doesn’t want to talk, this one can’t say anything, this one doesn’t want to talk, that one isn’t in office, then all of a sudden it starts to look like something suspicious. Like if something underhanded is happening. Somebody should have explained to the public from the beginning what the decision of Cabinet was and why Cabinet made that decision.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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18 Responses for “Belmopan minister explains the simplicity of rosewood fiasco”

  1. Bear says:

    Spoken like a true Mafia don!

    “two weeks and that’s it” — I DON;T THINK SO! The den of thieves in Belmopan is so used to getting away with all manner of abuse and corruption, I think they don’t understand that the people are reaching a boiling point. We won’t forget, and we WILL hold ALL of the ministers and their families and co-conspirators to account. Punishments must be paid in full.

    A deluge is coming for the regime, the sooner the better.

  2. Storm says:

    Saldivar is the man charged with enforcing the law, and it was his duty to put Gapi and Alamilla and all the rest of the rosewood gang into jail. But he refused to do his duty and threw his lot in with the criminals, so I think we must put him in a cell with the other crooks and take law back into our own hands. Let’s remember this criminal scandal forever, and get justice for it one day.

  3. EZ Deh. says:

    this man thinks that we are fools out here? fool di talk but da no fool the listen.’

  4. Rod says:

    How stupid do you think we are saldivar the only the only reason you are making up this story now is because you got caught with the goods you got caught stealing outright if the news organization were not doing their job all the thieves in this gov would have gotten their cut and no one would even know the thieves in this gov are so brazen that now they are stealing in front of the people’s faces they don’t even care anymore we need to lock them all up.

  5. Gaz says:

    What a great message the government is sending to the world.
    To the Chinese: Keep pushing for Rosewood, because sooner or later, one way or another, it will get to us.
    To the illegal loggers: Keep cutting and stock piling it, you’ll get away with it in the end. To the exporters: Keep your eyes out for more Rosewood.
    To Belizian people: Who cares if its illegal, do it anyway.
    To other countries: Wow! The corruption in Belize is without limits!

  6. Nigel says:

    We are all to blame and all at fault because we fail to realize one major point; we forget to realize that these thieves are working in our business. They work for us, come on are we too blind to see that they are our employees? We appointed them to do our work and represent us in good faith. So what do you do when your employee is not performing and even worst stealing from your company? You fire his or her a$$!!! But we embolden them with dominion over us and they feel as though they are unexpendable. We are a divided and broken people and our disunity and disjointedness is what keep the wheels of this corrupt regime turning and no amount of changing monkey for black dog elections will ever change anything.

  7. Ian Anderson. says:

    This is such a load of CR-P! .. Interesting that Both the Minister, Lisel Alamilla and the Chief Forest Officer, Wilbur Sabido, are out of the country, So Forestry confiscate this illegally logged rose wood. Does anyone get charged.. ABSOLUTELY NOT ! Is there even an ongoing investigation.. ABSOLUTLY NOT !! The crappy wood is burnt as a show of power by the Minister, no harrn done,THAT wood was not marketable anyways. So after a month or so or the BIG CONFISCATION.. NO INVESTIGATION.. NO CHARGES LAID, NO CONVICTIONS.. they simply move it under cover of secrecy to the port and its sent to China.. using brokers.. who get 50 % of the market value.. BROKERS DON’T GET 50 % OF THE MARKET PRICE.. The government if they had a single lick of intelligence.. They would hire get a brokerage fee. For that fee he would negotiate the sale and shipment of the RoseWood. In my opinion this is a scam from the highest levels of Government.. the Minister himself says from the Cabinet. W.T.F. ?

  8. dawn sandoval says:

    Oh what a deep hole they dig! this will be the UDP (rosewood gate!) the begining of the end, unless someone with intelligence steps in.

  9. Belizean says:

    Boy Mr Saldivar will be fired soon if he blames the Cabinet for this

  10. Gone fishing says:

    no news here.

    thieving continues.
    govt out of control.

    recall petition, so they can get re-elected again and again.
    the citizens allowed this to happen, now watch the standard of living and life expectancy decline.

    the best countries are the ones where the govt can be trusted and the people are responsible for whatever happens.

  11. Gone fishing says:

    the only thing transparent about this govt is that when they get caught, they are proud of it.
    never a downside, no crimnal convictions, unless you turn on the party, then those knives come out.

    bigger the whopper, bigger the kingfish.

    I am surprised they have not given out awards.

    Duh! they are called ministerial, second prize is govt job for life.

  12. C-19 says:

    I wonder how will Belizeans feel is every month corrupt Belizeans politicians were hang for treason?

  13. caye bowye says:

    Why can’t we all do something about the continued foolish answers government officials give and start to make them accountable for their dumb actions and decisions …
    Where are the NGO’s ??????
    Lot’s of needy people could have benefited with this wood for home building !!!

  14. Caye Boy says:

    When are we going to make people accountable for their actions ????
    Do ministers think they are above the law ??
    Many needy people could have received some help with this wood !!

  15. Eye in the Sky says:

    Belize must be the Most Corrupt country on earth.

    And the Belizean people to stupid and lazy to care.

    Once they have money to buy some rum and Chinee fry chicken they are happy.

    Belizeans you are all losers.

  16. Bear says:

    To all the commenters above, we sadly have come to this — a government of criminals from top to bottom. There will never be a freely elected honest government, because the present thieves control the vote counting, most of the police, and more.

    Sadly, the only way to reclaim control of the government is forcefully, and no quarter to the evildoers and their supporters. Happily, the nation is small, it could be over in one night if all the major suspects were in the country at the same time, and the people rose and acted together..

  17. Tarasbulba says:

    Wow, Government is not in the business of Exportation but in the business of “Aiding & Abetting” a felonious act. Why didn’t GOB inform the citizens of such decision prior to the two weeks that idiot is talking about. These guys are alays trying to insult our intelligence, then cry like some sissys when they are caught red handed. The minute their corrupted behaviour is disclosed, they want to sue or try to shut us up. Now the culprits have license to go back and cut down some more trees, and the beat goes on. The world is watching!!

  18. Genotu Rembiuos says:

    WELL…WELL…..WELLL !!!!!

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