Editorial

The family of the late Ramon Cervantes disclosed for the first time last Wednesday explosive allegations that a senior Minister of Government and a senior police officer in Orange Walk were involved in a plot to kill 71 year old Ramon Cervantes Sr.

Ramon Cervantes Sr. was killed on the July 1 or 2, 2014 by being shot in the head. The condition of his body when the police found it provided evidence that the victim had been tortured before he was killed. He had been abducted from his canefield, shot dead, taken to a remote place at Honey Camp, and buried in a shallow grave.

Last week, three months after his father’s de Ramon Cer-vantes Jr., the victim’s son, released a recording of a telephone conversation between a man who called on the telephone and his mother.

The caller did not give his name but Mrs. Cervantes is saying that she recognized the man’s voice. It was the voice of her former neighbour, Manuel Mendez Castillo, 34.

In this extraordinary conversion the caller said that he had been recruited to carry out a murder and that the victim was to be the late Ramon Cervantes Sr. The caller said that he played no part in the killing, but he mentioned two men by name. One is a senior Minister in the Government. The other is a senior police officer stationed in Orange Walk. The caller said that they are the men who recruited him.

All this information was put out by Ramon Cervantes, the son, three months after his father’s death. The younger Cervantes declared that he is putting his life on the line by releasing the taped conversation to the media.

Mr. Cervantes is putting more than his life on the line! He is putting his own reputation and the reputation of the two persons named in the tape on the line. The people of Belize will look to him to provide more than a mere tape recording to extricate himself from the position in which he has placed himself.

Now that the information is in the public domain it cannot be ignored. We urge the police to carry out an exhaustive investigation into this most scandalous affair.

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Leaders of the Belize Cane Farmers Association who have been negotiating with Belize Sugar Industries for a better price on bagasse must have known that they cannot continue to hold the company up for ransom as they did last year.

The Association has said it wants more money for the bagasse than the company is prepared to give. The company, which uses this left-over trash as fuel to power its Belcogen co-generating plant, has said it cannot afford to pay even $6.00 a ton. It has offered to pay on a sliding scale, in sync with the fluctuations of world sugar prices. It has also offered to re-negotiate the price it pays for sugarcane.

But the Belize Cane Farmers Association would have none of this. Last year it caused the grinding season, which usually gets under way in November, to be delayed for four weeks, causing a loss to the factory, but also causing its Tate & Lyle buyers to look elsewhere for sugar suppliers.

As a result Belize lost its most favoured status regarding payments for her sugar. Now we have to wait until our sugar is sold before we can collect.

While we acknowledge that it is important for canefarmers to earn more, there are limits to what they can demand. The BSI management has decided to deal directly with the cane farmers, by-passing the BSCFA. This is not a good thing!

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