Southside Group which consists of Southside Distributors, Southside Meats, and Southside Mini Mart is claiming in a Press release this evening that the Guardian newspaper, the UDP political media organ, has embarked on a
“malicious, defamatory and unjustifiable attack on the person of Senator Mark Lizarraga.” Lizarraga is the principal of Southside Group, a Company which is involved in the Food industry and has been importing bacon into Belize for many years. The incident surrounds an application the company made on the 26th of March 2013 to BAHA to import 6000 pounds of Bacon. Lizarraga says that the relevant fees were paid to BAHA after which Southside Distributors proceeded to have the bacon shipped to Belize, as is the normal practice. [We quote,] “This practice is not limited to the Southside Group and has become the order of the day for many businesses who are frustrated with the bureaucracy and extreme delay involved in obtaining import permits.” The shipment of bacon arrived in Belize on the 15th of April 2013 but to date, according to Southside Meats, they have not been formally notified whether the application has been approved! they found out TODAY, however, via the Guardian, that the shipment of Bacon has been confiscated by the Government of Belize. According to the Southside group, the Guardian falsely printed that this is not the first time that Southside has imported bacon without a permit and that last year alone, he imported some 24 thousand pounds. Senator mark Lizarraga is the representative for the Business Sector and claims that the numerous false allegations are clearly personal and are intended to discredit and demean him. In the Senator’s latest speech from the Senate he made marked comments regarding Corruption within the Public Sector, the Auditor General’s reports and the limited functionality of the Public Accounts committee.