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UDP to write to Attorney General, Minister of Home Affairs to investigate PM John Briceno over recent importation of plants fiasco

Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2022. 7:12 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Referencing the Interpol Red Notice out for former Minister Rene Montero on a charge of willful oppression, Leader of the Opposition Moses “Shyne” Barrow says he will write to Attorney General Magali Marin Young and Minister of Home Affairs Kareem Musa to begin a criminal investigation of Prime Minister John Briceno.

The investigation to be requested is over the recent circumstance in which, Barrow claims, he asked a forest officer to allow imported plants to come into Belize, then moved on him when he wouldn’t. “What’s good for Rene Montero is good for Johnny Briceno,” Shyne stated bluntly.

Compared with Montero’s denials, Briceno appears to have publicly admitted to giving the green light for the plants to come in, and the matter, if investigated should be with the presumption of innocence as required by law.

And previous issues notwithstanding, Barrow pledged not to repeat such behavior in a future administration.

For context, Breaking Belize News (BBN) have confirmed that there is no law requiring a forestry permit to import any plant into Belize, especially a plant propagated and grown in a nursery. Belize indeed has signed international agreements under CITES which focuses on managing the trade of endangered plants and animals, and the Forestry Department is the unit of government mandated to oversee the implementation of these agreements. The forestry department and the Minister responsible is also required to present appropriate legislations through Cabinet and eventually the House of Representatives to implement the commitments made under the CITES agreements. However, no legislation has yet been passed in Belize to legally implement any of the CITES agreements signed.

It is left to be seen whether Barrow indeed writes the Attorney General, Magali Marin Young, and Home Affairs Minister, Kareem Musa, and what will be the outcome of any investigation if one is launched.

 

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