As you could hear, the controversial recording also has Marvin Mora in that discussion making statements along with Neal. According to the recordings, Mora also said that “Garifunas are greedy for power”. We also reached out to Mora for comment.
Marvin Mora, Belize Energy Workers’ Union: I want to openly, sincerely apologize to the Garinagu people if it is that there is anything in there that they believe that I said that they believe is also insulting or demeaning to their culture, to their people. I have absolutely nothing else but admiration for the Garinagu people. I have been working on the preparations committee for years and in there we’ve also championed the cause of the Garinagu people, so I have absolutely nothing against the Garingau people. I do not believe in racism if that’s what you want to hear, and if some of the things that are attributed to being in there sound demeaning, I give you my 100% assurance that I said nothing in that conversation that was in fact demeaning on insulting to the Garinagu culture or to any other indigenous culture.
According to Mora, that conversation was almost an hour and a half long and mostly had to do with the fracture of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize. Mora says they approached Neal because they wanted to endorse a person, who happens to be Garifuna, for the post of NTUCB president but they could not because of the actions of the PSU. He explains:
Marvin Mora, Belize Energy Workers’ Union: As you know the NTUCB has its own internal issues. And you’ve seen the utilities unions struggle to maintain its own fraternity. We work together, and because of that fraternity, sometimes we make decisions in unison. For example one of the biggest decisions that we made at that point in time was to try and identify somebody with the skills, the aptitude, and knowhow with educational background to hold the office of the president because I was ousted as you recall. So we identified a young lady and you hear that lady also being mentioned in that recording who we were endorsing, and she is of the Garinagu culture. Her name is Fany Ecasio. You hear the female voice in there saying you know we want her to be president and what not. And that’s one of the reasons why we approached Mr. Neal because we wanted to find out from him why is it that he removed that young lady as a delegate from the PSU. So we could not put her to run as president because then she was removed as a delegate.
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) issued a press release this evening in which it says it
“condemns and is disheartened to listen to the derogatory comments against Garinagu…..It is disappointing to hear racist remarks from the leader of the Public Service Union who blatantly declared that they are in a cultural warfare with the Garinagu.”
The release said nothing about Marvin Mora of the Belize Energy Workers Union.