Regional legislators meet in Belize

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

The Forum of Presidents and Presidents of Parliaments of Central America and the Caribbean, (FOPREL) held a seminar this week to propose draft legislation to the Government of Belize.
The organization, comprised of the speakers of the Houses of Parliament for member countries, made presentations at the Best WesternBelize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Thursday morning, to members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
The organization’s consultants made presentations in the areas of Businesses of Private Security, Money Laundering and the Legitimization of Activities, and on the Control of Small Firearms.

Speaker of the House for Belize, Michael Peyrefitte, explained that the seminar is a regular part of the communication for the organization. The members either meet or correspond to share ideas on legislation that may improve the structures in their countries.

“In their system, the speakers of the House are required to make presentations for proposed legislation to parliament, in our system if we get an idea of a piece of legislation that might be good, we pass it on to the Attorney General and, in this case, she is the one who proposes it to Cabinet to be tabled in the House,” Peyrefitte said.

He added that while there were aspects of the presentation he enjoyed, Belize has already implemented many of the suggestions given from the money laundering and firearms recommendations.
One proposal emerging from the seminar is that persons be charged with additional crimes for being found with prohibited firearms. The recommendation is that persons who are found to be in possession of a firearm which could not have been legally imported, be charged additionally with a firearms trafficking charge.

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