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May 31, 2017

More Ministers Named: Boots, Contreras Filled In for Absent Castro

Burgess told the senate panel that she learned that the U.S. Embassy had at least two recordings of her conversations with Castro and other persons whom she could not recall. That further frightened her into stopping her activities and eventually coming forward when the Penner scandal broke and she heard the Prime Minister say that ministers should stop procuring visas. But Castro was not the only Minister she dealt with on visa recommendations. When Burgess appeared on this station’s “Dickie Bradley Special” in 2013, she mentioned that two other Ministers had helped her, but did not call their names. Today, she did.

 

Alvarene Burgess, Whistleblower

“I started it with Mr. Castro; it started with Mr. Castro.”

 

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“Why did you have the need to go to another Minister for recommendation?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

Alvarene Burgess

“Because at that time, Minister Castro was not here; he was not in the country.”

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“And you’re going to the other Ministers, was that through Mr. Chan? How did that start?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“When I told…I only went to (Boots) Martinez twice and to (Erwin) Contreras once; but when we got acquainted and he was asking me about knowing people in high places, then I mentioned to him who I knew. So having Mr. Castro not in the country and his people – I don’t know who they are – Mr. Chan’s people, they always want to make sure that the visas get approved as quick as possible, which would be two or three days the most.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Why would you choose these two Ministers?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Because I was acquainted with them. My husband used to play football and used to stay in Benque at Mr. Contreras’ house, and I knew Mr. Martinez due to a family.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And you went personally to them?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“Twice to Mr. Martinez and once to Mr. Contreras?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“Yes. Yes.”

 

Eamon Courtenay

“And in terms of payment of money, what was the arrangement?”

 

Alvarene Burgess

“They got the same payment, the same two thousand dollars; but they didn’t do a lot.”

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