San Pedro’s UDP Hosts Endorsement Convention Ahead of Municipal Elections

Monday, January 29th, 2024


The United Democratic Party (UDP) town council slate hosted their endorsement convention on Saturday, January 27th, at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. The rally hosted a crowd of supporters who approved the UDP’s seven candidates, who are composed of young people from different sectors of the island community, including education, entertainment, entrepreneurship, and the arts. They are led by Mayoral candidate Wilfredo Alamilla Jr. Councillor candidates are Gian Rivero, Gabriel Zetina, Ana Lilia Rodriguez, Yakarelis Hernandez, Abner Diaz, and Byron Duarte.

The event saw a host of UDP leaders from various parts of the country showing their support, including Honourable Tracy Panton, UDP Party Chairman Michael Peyrefitte, Deputy Party Leader Honourable Hugo Patt, and Party Leader the Honourable Dr. Moses ‘Shyne’ Barrow. The endorsement meeting also included the presence of Belize Rural South (Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye) Standard Bearer, former Mayor Daniel Guerrero, and former Area Representative Manuel Heredia Jr.

Formalities included the endorsement of mayoral candidate Alamilla by his father, Wilfredo Alamilla Sr., who spoke about his son’s dedication to the island community and asked islanders to give him a chance to serve. Party chairman Peyrefitte then endorsed the remaining councilor candidates. They all raised their right hands as they committed themselves to take all the responsibilities of their roles if elected as the next local government in San Pedro Town on March 6th.

Afterward, each councilor candidate delivered a short speech, introducing themselves and highlighting some of the challenges islanders face. They spoke about access and assistance with education, more activities for the youth, lack of opportunities, high cost of living, political victimization, nepotism, and neglect. Each of them committed to doing more in infrastructure, recreational activities, education, arts, the generation of constant programs for an economic boost, entrepreneurship programs, conservation, and an administration accessible to all, regardless of their political affiliations. Mayor candidate Alamilla Jr. said they would build a government that valued every citizen’s input. “Together, we will build a town that reflects the hopes and dreams of us all,” said Alamilla Jr. “Our government will be one of collaboration and inclusion. We must address the challenges with resilience and determination from sustainable development to preserve our natural resources.” Alamilla added that they are committed to keeping San Pedro where their families and businesses can prosper.

Those in attendance and organizers also pointed out the conditions of the Honourable Louis Sylvester Sporting Arena. Organizers said the current town council charged them to use the venue, which lacked proper lighting, and common areas like the bathroom were in unacceptable conditions. The existing condition of the venue was deemed a result of neglect by Mayor Nuñez’s administration. A representative of the town board said that the lighting issue at the field may have been due to a short circuit caused by the wiring done to set up the stage for the event.

Following the official introduction of the UDP 7 slate were several encouraging speeches from the guests. Peyrefitte commended the new UDP team for their diverse talents and urged San Pedranos to do what was right and give Alamilla Jr. and his team a chance. Honorable Panton and Patt spoke about what they considered a failed current San Pedro Town Council under the People’s United Party. They noted that promises have not been fulfilled and that the town will be better positioned with the UDP.

Party Leader Barrow commended the past town administrations under UDP teams led by former Mayors Elsa Paz and Guerrero. He highlighted that the prosperous San Pedro under the past UDP administrations is a thing of the past. “All the promises that they made for better, this has been the worst town council we have ever seen in San Pedro,” said Barrow. “You have a Mayor that you never see. All they have given to San Pedro residents is gas pain and the highest cost of living ever. Nothing has gotten better in the last three years.” Barrow said there is no need for propaganda to make up lies. He told San Pedranos and Belizeans across the country are feeling the truth of the hardships, insecurity, and lack of opportunities brought by the current government. He lauded Alamilla Jr. and his team and asked the island electorate to vote them in at the next municipal elections.

Following speeches, the UDP candidates and their guests mingled with everyone in attendance. The entertainment part started with live music performances by Super Furia Band and Belize’s Soca Queen Ernestine Carballo. The event also included raffles and plenty of refreshments and food available for purchase.


 

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