Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine’s Day was the designated day for the launch of the newly refurbished BTL Park on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize City. The event was billed to be a major blast off with a line up of Belizean music artists and Jamaican superstar, Duane Stephenson to top it off.

By accounts so far, the event was successful. It drew attendance from all over the country including town officials from other municipalities across the country. Among the attendants was San Pedro Town Councillor, Marion Mejia.

Mejia we are told is a party animal. Well his partying ways may have gotten him into a real stitch last night in Belize City. Details are still sketchy but NBZLive has confirmed that the  councillor who many describe as amiable was busted late on Friday night in a rental vehicle he was traveling in with a group of friends. When police searched the vehicle an undisclosed quantity of cocaine was found in it. Mejia and his companions were taken into custody.

NBZLive has also confirmed that TWO members of Prime Minister Barrow’s cabinet intervened to get Mejia released from police custody. Those two are Minister of Police, John Saldivar and Area Representative for Belize Rural South and Minister of Tourism with Immigration responsibility, Manuel Heredia.

Reports are that the calls annoyed the arresting officer so much so that he notified members of the press of what was transpiring. Saldivar, it is heavily rumored, is being removed from his post as National Security Minister and transferred to Public Service Ministry. Heredia was recently given responsibility for Immigration after the department became mired in an immigration scandal that threatens to topple the Barrow administration.

Saldivar’s name was called in the passport and visa hustle but nothing has been confirmed on his part. He was extremely supportive of former Immigration Minister Elvin Penner who was kicked out of cabinet after it was discovered that he issued a passport to South Korean, Won Hong Kim who was jailed in Taiwan. Kim had never set foot in Belize and therefore could never and did not satisfy requisites for citizenship.

Speaking unusually candid with the media after the last Meeting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, February 5, 2014, Barrow hinted at the possibility of calling the elections earlier than the constitutional time which would be February of 2017. The reason, he said, was rampant corruption within his cabinet.

“….the scandals have threatened to swamp us, that they have threatened to cause us to come undone, and naturally that is a source of great regret because to some extent, it is self-inflicted,” the PM said.

But where the Prime Minister has reached with corruption in his government was made clear in this statement. “I will not lightly give up the Government. I will not lightly say, ‘Let’s go back to the people.’ But, I will also, if it comes to that, I will not shirk the larger responsibility that I have. Every time I take action, as I’m telling you I am sworn to do, and as I tell you I will continue to do, there are political repercussions because of the slimness of the majority. I bear that well in mind as I take the actions that I take. Ultimately, if I have to take more actions, and it results in 2 persons or perhaps 3 persons who are in the House, resigning from the Party, thus triggering either bi-elections or a general election, I will simply have to do what my duty and conscience tells me I must do, and live with the consequences, which would no doubt be a loss of the consequent general elections. I’m not going to go there easily, as I said, but if I have to, I will go there.”

With the bad boys that Barrow has in his cabinet not relenting – it seems the Prime Minister may have to resort to doing what he said will be a hard decision – call elections earlier. John Saldivar and Manuel Heredia may not have gotten the memo.