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Will there be trouble at Tower Hill on Monday?

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Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2021. 1:09 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Breaking Belize News (BBN) has been reliably informed that Monday’s planned opening of the 2021-2022 sugar season is under threat.

Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) has placed a series of barriers at the entrance to the factory at Tower Hill, Orange Walk District, after specific threats of disruption were communicated via an Orange Walk radio station on Friday.

BBN contacted officials at BSI and they inform that the road is not blocked, and vehicles can pass. According to BSI the barriers were placed as a precaution and their placement has been reported to police.

It is alleged that some blatant threats were made to BSI and farmers who were willing to start the crop, including suggesting that they would “take action” against BSI trucks in the villages, block roads and making sure the miller “has no peace” if they do not get what they want.

Last week both sides presented their view of the continuing impasse over a new commercial agreement. BSI/ASR presented a counter proposal to the original BSCFA proposal to revise the calculation of payment for sugar and molasses produced from cane, which BSCFA has expressed dissatisfaction with, although they are awaiting communication in writing. For its part, BSI/ASR has refused overtures from BSCFA and Government to sign an interim agreement to continue under the current agreement which formally expires in January while negotiating a new one, calling that kicking the can down the road.

We will continue to monitor developments and keep following this story.

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