For: Media Outlets
Topic: BPF Protest Speech
Date: September 30th, 2014
Welcome brothers and sisters, welcome Belizeans from far and wide, to all the people who traveled to show support for our fallen brother, friend, son, Belizean Patriot, Special Constable Danny Conorquie.
I want to start off by sharing my most sincere condolences with the grieving family of this brave young man. A man who died protecting the country he loved.
As we gather here, it is with deep regret that it took a tragedy of this magnitude to galvanize our solidarity and unify us in this stand, a peaceful stand, a stand that shows our government that we will not allow them to have this to continue.
This gathering also shows us that when the call is made, Belizeans far and wide are willing to make the sacrifice to make our concerns be heard and send a clear message to the powers that be, that our borders will no longer be described as artificial. How can we say that to this brave young man’s family? The only thing artificial we have regarding our borders is our foreign policy!
For too long, the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) has been recording and reporting incursions, with a first sighting of Xatero’s in the 70’s; and have actual recorded incursion since 1984. There was 240 hectares or 593 acres of milpas under cultivation in the Chiquibul Reserve on Belizean soil. Since then we have not made any effort to stem this tide or to increase our presence in this area. This is our largest single block of protected area in Belize.
Illegal logging alone has cost us an approximate $9,448,144.00 USD in loss revenues and we simply cannot afford to lose anymore. We have recorded a major drop in the Scarlet Macaw’s livelihood that have habitually nested in this area and have played a vital role in the ecology of this reserve.
How can we say that we have an artificial border? How can we say that Danny was murdered by persons of unknown origins? How can we say that when he made the ultimate sacrifice for the jewel? This brave man will be remembered and go down in history as the first Belizean to give his life serving and defending his homeland. This bravery and service cannot go unrewarded and unheeded.
- We demand compensation to the family of the deceased officer and we demand this be done forthwith! $25,000.00 BZD
- We demand the removal of the Foreign Minister as he has shown his blatant disregard for Belizeans and their safety, and patrimony.
- We demand that an allocation of $ 200,000.00 BZD annually be done by central government to Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) for improving Rangers Corps, training and equipment.
- We demand that the government start to demarcate our borders, and if they cannot, then allow us to do this, with support from our BDF!
- We demand a change in our foreign policy from one of appeasement to one of assertive diplomacy!
We gather here for a solemn purpose, a purpose that is now shown to be a most serious one, one that have brought us together and one that will continue to hold us as our brother’s keeper. We demand that this government make more stringent efforts to patrol our borders, and with the help of our various civil groups, plan to demarcate our borders in an effort to put an end to the illegal incursions and pillaging of the Chiquibul Reserve. This can only be done when our foreign policy is not a subservient one, when our policy reflects the true will of the people and not that of a single individual or a small group of elites.
We are at a time in our country’s growth, that we must make tough decisions, decisions that will affect all of our futures. How we decide to be governed is ultimately left up to us.