HomeLatest NewsMinister Dolores Says, “Iron Mike” Held Strong Views

Minister Dolores Says, “Iron Mike” Held Strong Views

Minister Dolores Says, “Iron Mike” Held Strong Views

The nation continues to mourn the loss of Toledo East Area Representative Mike Espat. He entered electoral politics thirty-five years ago and served the country as an area representative for twenty-five years. On Tuesday we heard from several of his colleagues about his political work, contributions to the nation’s development and his personality. Today, we heard from Dolores Balderamos-Garcia, a senior member of the People’s United Party, on Espat’s passing. She is now the eldest member of parliament, a title Espat held. Here is what she told us.


Dolores Balderamos- Garcia, Area Representative, Belize Rural South

“We are very saddened at the passing of honorable Mike. We used to call him Iron Mike, with good reason. When he took a stance on something he was absolutely committed to that and I think the stances he took were always in support of his people in Toledo, Toledo East particularly, the constituency. He held some very strong views. I can share with you that he was not at all in favor of the proposal for the Maya Communal Land Rights. He said, we are all Belizeans, and we should all have equal rights to land. He was very vocal about that. And, we had to work with him because we can have differing opinions and still respect one another. I can tell you that just about a few weeks before the budget debate I had a little chat with him, and it was cordial and respectful. He did attend our ministerial meeting on the Maya Land Rights in December. He made valuable contributions, and we took the contributions into account. So, I want to say in his memory, we thank him for all the work he has done. And I want to say this, with the position and the strong stance he took, it forced us to look at a differing point of view. And not only because of that, because it is the correct thing to do, we have made it clear that whereas we need to implement the judgment of the CCJ in relation to the Maya case, we must do so keeping in mind the balance we have to maintain and never forgetting the constitutional rights of all Belizeans.”

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