As we mentioned before, the negotiations may have finally reached a resolution but for some members of the negotiating team, there is no reason for celebration. For his part, Alfredo Ortega expressed disappointment in the way the negotiations ended.
“Personally no, I am not happy with this because I think we have gone through two years trying to negotiate better for the farmers and then we reach to this point where we are back to square one and I personally I am not in agreement with this but as I said before the majority have spoken and we have to respect the decision of the majority.”
And while he received harsh criticisms, BSCFA CEO Oscar Alonzo explained that the new terms were not endorsed by him either.
Oscar Alonzo – CEO, BSCFA
“La primera junta que se tuvo cuando se empezó a presentar estas tres condiciones de la cual se concluye ayer entonces yo no puedo explicar de haya sino solo puedo dar los resultados porque como yo indique en la junta el viernes en frente de ellos yo no estaba de acuerdo pero se les pregunto y ellos si estaban de acuerdo en frente del Primer Ministro entonces como el Primer Ministro dijo los directores son los que están aceptando estas condiciones lo único que yo puedo hacer es presentar y lo que yo he tratado de hacer es salvar la situación.”
“We always put the stand of the cane farmers and we simply went to try to negotiate and get and agreement because we as directors we saw that if we continue in that point we wouldn’t never get in an agreement with BSI so in the best interest of our cane farmers we proceeded to do this.”
So we asked the former Chair of the Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, who was also at the forefront of the negotiations for almost two years what exactly happened and at what point did the negotiating team lose their grip on the negotiations.
“I think that for the past four meeting I could say when a meeting was held with the DPM in Orange Walk there is where misinterpretation happened and it was not brought forward when the leaders met with the Prime Minister to clear off what the decision was if there was any decision or not and they went through with the presentation that was done and that shifted completely what the negotiating team was negotiating on behalf of the cane farmers on which as you clearly heard today that about two weeks was held at this spot in which the farmers so we will not be signing and we want an interim agreement to be signed and then negotiations to continue and things just shifted after that and you see the outcome of today that we went right back to square one.”
“We never left members of the negotiating team out, at first what happened is that we ask a meeting with the DPM with the 18 directors and that was the first meeting that we had with them and then we included the negotiating team which are the ones that negotiated, we simple went as directors and simply put our concerns to the government as cane farmers and what we would like to achieve then obviously the negotiating team took over together with the 18 directors.”
And no one has denied that it was after the meeting between Cansino, the 18 directors and the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega that the negotiations took a turn.
Was politics involved? Cansino maintains that the move was made in an effort of breaking through the impasse and seeking the farmers’ best interest.
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