Media houses in Belize including this station have signed on to a letter condemning the actions of Mace Bearer Brian “Yellowman” Audinett. Audinett verbally threatened 7News Cameraman Dennis Ellis telling him he would throw him over the railing if he did not stop recording. The threat was made in the presence of several other cameramen and journalists and was caught on tape. The letter has yet to be officially handed to Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Aldo Salazar. Senator Salazar told the media this morning that a ban on Yellowman must be a decision that the entire committee must make.
“Like I said last week an attack on the media I didn’t see the hurling of any projectile but definitely that cannot be countenance we need to go about this in a proper manner and your letter will be received and as I said this select committee I don’t control it you know in fact I am the one who has the least control over it. It is controlled by the social partners and the opposition they are the majority so the direction that this committee is taking the consideration of your letter is going to be by the committee on a whole, it is not my decision. So even though my view is that we cannot have that sort of activity in the chamber it is something that is going to be considered by the entire committee not by myself. I think we need to understand that the situation is fluid, when things happen at that moment we react in how we think is appropriate in the time and its one police man and that is the way I reacted and to mull over it is really an exercise in futility, what happened last week is indeed regrettable as the chairman I have to take responsibility for it, we learn from our mistakes we move forward and I can say that it will not be tolerate from either side, UDP or PUP.”
Chairman of the UDP Alberto August was present during the assault on the media and he has taken full blame for what happened during last week Wednesday’s senate hearing. He promised to return every Wednesday when Senator Eamon Courtenay appears. In order to keep order during the proceedings within the National Assembly, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Belmopan Commanding Officer met last week Friday to discuss measures to be put in place to prevent such recurrence. According to Salazar, he was reassured that security would be increased.
“I have every assurance that security presence would be heightened and we would have sufficient security presence. What happened last week is indeed regrettable and I have every intention to ensure that there is no further disturbance, it will not be tolerated and I felt confident that we could maintain order within the senate. We definitely are going to have better personnel moving forward. I really don’t believe that there is any particular threat within the chamber I felt that the main threat today would have been opposing factions getting into it with each other but at the end of the day I don’t think any side will want to see or show or have it construed that they are trying to stop the senate from moving forward. Although I can say that was my only concern up until yesterday it was my only concern that different factions might get riled up.”
In related news the People’s United Party has written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Laura Tucker Longsworth demanding that Audinett be fired. In the letter, the PUP demands quote, “the forthright termination of Mr. Brian Audinette as Macebearer and Sergeant at Arms. His actions and unapologetic disregard for the responsibilities he assumes make him unfit to hold such a privileged position.” End of quote.