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Corozal Sugar Cane Farmers Association issues clarifications on “propaganda campaign”

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Posted: Monday, December 6, 2021. 10:42 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: BELIZE CITY, Mon. Dec. 6, 2021. Separately from its joint endorsement with the Progressive Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (“Progressive”) of today’s events in the Senate, the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association (CSCPA), made some clarifications of its own.

According to the CSCPA, it has not expelled any members in 2020 or 2021. Rather, following a re-registration exercise completed in October, 596 members remain on its books while 34 did not re-register. Only two members, it said, had ever been expelled – one for falsely claiming the Association’s support for his intervention at the Tower Hill factory, the other for using Association-related equipment including vehicles for political work as a booster for a political candidate.

That group is informed that while the Association would not represent them moving forward, those expelled members would receive their share premiums for the 2020-21 crop.

It is this group, the CSCPA executive suggests, that Government was trying to favor with the amendment – essentially, intervening to grant the right to vote merely based on their names appearing on the list for the past crop year 2020/21.

On the matter of elections, the CSCPA insists that before the COVID-19 pandemic it has always held its elections on a timely and consistent basis. Its financials are annually audited by a local firm, Baker Tilly Hulse, and external auditors, and nothing has been found wrong with them, therefore there is no suggestion of a cover-up of wrongdoing.

The Corozal Association goes on to insist that it only got permission for a mass gathering to hold elections on the date they were statutorily due, November 1, despite having written from October 7, and so it would have been irresponsible to proceed under the then-current law.

While members (about 250) insist they can wait to hold elections, they have directed the executive to go after “disgruntled agitators” who allegedly forged signatures for petitions and called for their expulsion and criminal prosecution.

The CSCPA takes issue with Sunday’s statement by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) of underhanded tactics with its members, including allegedly refusing to pay premiums to depart members and having issues with its recent elections.

Again, the CSCPA reiterates its willingness to meet with the Government to resolve any issues.

 

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