Stake Bank Sends Letter to Government Seeking Commitment on Portico Agreement
Another letter regarding the cruise port sector was sent out recently, this time from Stake Bank to the Government of Belize. You may recall that some two weeks ago, Stake Bank wrote to the Prime Minister asking that he publicly declares the Portico Agreement illegal, if not they would invoke legal proceedings. The Prime Minister was given until June 8, to do so, but he didn’t meet the deadline. Another letter from Stake Bank’s attorney, Senior Glen Godfrey, went out on Friday, extending that deadline to June 20. Via the letter addressed to the Attorney General, Magali Marin-Young, Godfrey reminded the government of the approval it had gotten in January 2018, and the judicial review that the court had granted to Stake Bank in 2021 by the High Court. The judicial review continues to be a live issue that seeks to reassess the decision of the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) and the Department of the Environment (DOE) in granting Environmental Clearance to Portico Enterprises Limited, as well as the Environmental Clearance plan (“ECP”) between Portico and DOE. Essentially, what Stake Bank is trying to achieve, is a commitment from the government that they would not pursue a revision of the Portico Agreement where it could hamper the progress or continuity of the Stake Bank project. This particularly had to do with the accommodations in the agreement that forbids any other port to be approved or constructed within 25 miles of Port of Magical. If pursued on this angle, this automatically makes Stake Bank a non-entity in the cruise port sector. The government has now been given until June 20, 2023 to clearly state its position on the matter. Again, if the deadline is not met, Stake Bank will move forward with legal proceedings.