Controversy / General / Weekend News

GOB absent for BGYEA mediation

By Alexis R. Milan, Staff Reporter

Mediation ended between the government of Belize and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) after GOB’s attorney failed to show up at Friday’s mediation session.

BGYEA President Nigel Petillo said that attorney Rodwell Williams’ absence from the mediation session was an act of bad faith by the government. Petillo said the session was actually scheduled for Wednesday but there was an extension given when GOB didn’t show up for that session either.

Petillo said BGYEA was willing to mediate and wanted the mediation sessions to work as an act of good faith. Petillo said he was disappointed in the government’s stance on the issue. He also noted that the case has been handed over from former Solicitor General, Nigel Hawke to Barrow & Williams, the Prime Minister’s law firm. According to Petillo, this is also a sign of bad faith.

Government’s absence from mediation means the case will go to full trial next Monday at 10 a.m. in the Supreme Court.

In May, the Ministry of Natural Resources informed BGYEA that they could not plant corn in the buffer zone of the mile 41 community because it is government land and should remain in its natural state.

Following the notice, GOB filed an injunction against BGYEA and Petillo, to prohibit any activity in the buffer. The Supreme Court later struck out the injunction because the government failed to file necessary documents relating to the injunction.

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