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Belize Prime Minister, Dean Oliver Barrow

Wed., September 23, 2015

Leader of United Democratic Party (UDP) and Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow seems to be making preparations for general elections, credible sources say.

UDP standard bearers were called to Belize City on Wednesday, reportedly to pose for campaign photographs in preparation for the launch of the UDP’s manifesto. Our sources also say that a meeting of their Central Party council is scheduled for this weekend.

With options running out for PM Barrow where Belize’s ailing economy is concerned and members of his cabinet mired in major scandals, observers say that Barrow has no choice but to seek a new mandate.

Recently his former Minister of Transportation and Area Representative for Belize Rural North, Edmund Castro was in court defending his name in a defamation suit which he brought against Alvarine Burgess and Channel 5 after he was exposed as a cohort in the Penner passport and visa scandal that rocked Barrow administration.

Castro ended up withdrawing his case and was ordered to pay his accuser/s BZD $30Thousand, which to date he hasn’t. Our sources say that he is hard up for cash since he no longer has access to easy money at the Airport Authority. Castro was fired from that job by PM Barrow and the board dismantled after rampant theivery was occurring at the Airport Authority. The skullduggery involved Castro, staff and board members of the Belize Airport Authority. Castro signed numerous checks to himself, his family and his supporters. He even used the authority’s money to bury his mother!

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Sample of some of the checks Edmund Castro cut for himself, staff, board members at BAA, friends and family

Deputy Prime Minister, Margarito Gaspar Vega who continues to live under cloud of suspicion is currently in court defending his name after he was accused of sanctioning the kidnapping and murder of the father of his political opponent in Orange Walk North, Ramon Cervantes Sr.

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Shyne Barrow in background (black t-shirt), Vega along with attorney Rodwell Williams

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Cervantes family represented by former Prime Minister, Said Musa

Alleged mastermind in the case, Manuel Castillo, was recorded saying that he was contacted by alleged agents for Vega asking him to carry out the execution of Vega’s political opponent, Ramon Cervantes Jr.

The senior Cervantes was kidnapped from his farm in late June of 2014. His badly beaten and mutilated body was discovered in a shallow grave in the Honey Camp area of Orange Walk District in early July that same year.

KC-Ramon-Cervantes-Sr       Ramon-Cervantes

Orange Walk police are yet to question the Deputy Prime Minister. Prime Minister Barrow has kept a noticeably safe distance from the entire case. Barrow’s law partner, Rodwell Williams is representing Vega in the case which he brought against the Cervantes family and media houses that aired the recording.

Pundits are saying that this might be the best time for Barrow to pursue a new mandate while the opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) may be politically vulnerable due to internal squabble over leadership of the party.

The PUP recently announced that dissent within the party has been quelled with the return of the dissenters to the big blue tent after Leader of Opposition Francis Fonseca agreed to calls for national convention and a challenge to his seat of leadership.

While there are no polls to support opinion…..an election in the near future would be a close race between the two major parties. The jury is still out on who would win. Belizeans in general seem to welcome early elections which may not be a good thing for Barrow, politically speaking as some in his party who are disenchanted with his leadership say that all Barrow wants is to set record for holding office for three consecutive terms. Some in the UDP are displeased over the way the political largesse has been gabbled up by Barrow and his family. Quite a few of Barrow’s family hold prominent offices where they are collecting lucrative salaries.

Barrow took office after winning elections in February of 2008. He called early elections in March of 2012. If indeed he does call elections in 2015 or early 2016, and is successful, he will also set record for not serving out the constitutional full five-year term.