The major reason the PUP and the UDP are so chummy is because of the friendships and partnerships among multimillionaire Belizean lawyers across party lines. As far as we can figure out, this process began in the late 1970?s, when the first major cross party partnership began, between Denys Barrow and Ernest Staine on Regent Street. Denys Barrow is the nephew of former UDP Leader, Dean Lindo, and the younger brother of present UDP Leader, Dean Barrow. Staine was the PUP candidate for Port Loyola in 1984 and 1989.
The cross party line between lawyers was not always so. In the middle 1960?s, Dean Lindo and the late Joseph Grey were law partners on Church Street. But when Grey cut a deal with the ruling PUP in 1969, he broke his partnership with Lindo and became the PUP candidate for the Albert constituency.
In the late 1970?s, however, Staine and Barrow began a trend. When the PUP Foreign Minister, Godfrey Smith, began to practice law, it was in the law firm of present UDP Leader, Dean Barrow. The daughter of the PUP Leader of the Opposition between 1984 and 1989, Hon. Florencio Marin, practices law in the firm of the said Dean Barrow, the present UDP Leader of the Opposition. There are many more deep cross party legal friendships and partnerships.
The friendships across party lines are well known in the profession. The Leader of the UDP government business in the Senate between 1993 and 1998, Wilfred Elrington, is the best of friends with the present Leader of PUP government business in the Senate, Dickie Bradley. Glenn Godfrey is hostile to Dean Barrow, and vice versa, but Glenn and Denys Barrow are very good friends. These cross party friendships account for such stark anomalies as an attorney from one of Belize?s most prominent UDP families, defending a PUP gunman in court who shot four UDP supporters in front of a crowd at the Courthouse Wharf.
And these cross party Bar Association friendships, of course, account for the corrupt travesty that was the Belize Companies Register and BELIPO. The PUP lawyers and the UDP lawyers have become too sweet with each other. The welfare of the public at large is sacrificed when the attorneys have a chance to cut a lucrative deal, and also have that deal insured against a change of government.
In Belize it is not a case of the rule of law. It is a case of the rule of lawyers. The masses of the Belizean people are seeing this now for themselves.
Power to the people.