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May 3, 2017

Corozal Free Zone C.E.O. Fights Suspension

The situation on the ground appears to be returning to some normalcy following Monday’s suspension of Valentino Blanco as C.E.O. of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone. The Board suspended him for a month citing loss of confidence with administrative staff and private sector, breach of contract and confidentiality. The board took that decision after the administrative staff went on sick-outs in protest last week.  On Tuesday, a director publicly sounded that there is also political interference in the Zone. Blanco, however, is fighting the suspension; he has lawyered up and has acquired Vanessa Retreage, the former Attorney General, to represent him. Retreage has written to the head of the Commercial free Zone, Gregory Gibson, to say “that it is manifestly clear that the finding of the Board and the subsequent purported suspension of Mister Blanco is arbitrary, unreasonable and unlawful. Retreage invited the board to revisit its decision and the purported suspension with a view to rescinding both.” The attorney provides the board with a window of five days, up until May thirteenth, to so do after which Blanco will be advised of what next steps to take. Retreage also states that Blanco left the premises on Monday following a threat of personal injury and that the decision to protect himself is not to be taken as acceptance of the board decision. Now, Blanco is the brother-in-law of the minister of health Doctor Angel Campos. The area rep has been in and out of the zone in recent days.

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