Letters — 09 October 2012 — by Darius Avila

Dear Editor,

I refer to an article written by Aaron Humes and published on page 12 of the Amandala newspaper of Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

In the article, Mr. Humes quoted an article in the Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, which he alleges provided details of “the signing of an agreement between the Chamber of Commerce of Izabal Province and the Belize Chamber of Commerce of Industry (BCCI) that will allow imports of sand, gravel, sausages, meat, fruit and vegetables.”

The author of the article further stated that “the signing apparently took place in Punta Gorda and was reportedly witnessed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington…” The article continues by stating that BCCI is unaware of the signing of an agreement as stated above.

The article also cites the Toledo Association of Businesses as an organization of interest. I write on behalf of the Toledo Association of Businesses, legally registered as a not-for-profit company.

On September 2, 2012 The Toledo Association of Businesses signed a Memorandum of Intent with the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala – Department of Izabal Chapter. This Memorandum of Intent articulates the intention “to pursue a bi-lateral partnership which would seek to enhance collaboration between the two organizations (Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala – Department of Izabal Chapter and the Toledo Association of Businesses) to promote social, cultural and business interests.”

Neither prior to, during nor after the signing was it discussed or agreed that sand, gravel, sausages, meat, fruit and vegetables or any specific item for that matter would be imported or exported. Also, note that the Memorandum of Intent was not signed on behalf of the Belize Chamber of Commerce of Industry (BCCI) but instead, the Toledo of Association of Businesses acting on its own behalf, which it is legally entitled to do.

Subsequent to the signing, the Toledo Association of Businesses prepared a press release. In our view, Mr. Humes could have also contacted the Toledo Association of Businesses for more information on the matter.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Darius Avila
President-Toledo Association of Businesses

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