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Jun 13, 2017

Junior Health Minister Denies Involvement in Commercial Free Zone

Valentino Blanco is the embattled C.E.O. at the Free Zone. Over the past few weeks his appointment raised eyebrows with many questioning his qualifications and wondering if there was any political influence, since he is the brother-in-law of Minister of State Doctor Angel Campos.  Things came to a head and Blanco was suspended after management questioned some decisions taken by the newly installed C.E.O.  But did Campos have anything to do with the activities at the Free Zone under his brother-in-law’s leadership?  Today, we asked him if he used his influence as minister – here’s how he answered.

 

Angel Campos

Dr. Angel Campos, Area Rep, Corozal Southwest

“We are Ministers and I think a lot of Ministers go to the zone. And being that he is my brother-in-law well I used to give him courtesy visits and I don’t know if that made people feel that I am having something with the zone, but as ministers we don’t have that authority. The authority is given to the Board of Directors – in hiring and firing and all of that. They do those decisions. We cannot do anything as the Minister in Cabinet we can probably ask them for a favor but it has to go through the Board.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“So, you didn’t use your influence as a Minister to get your brother in law selected as the C.E.O. for the Free Zone?”

 

Dr. Angel Campos

“No. I am the Minister of Health and that is out of my reach and the Minister of Free Zone is Minister Contreras, probably we can recommend but like any job people come to us.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did you recommend in this case?”

 

Dr. Angel Campos

“Well, I recommend a lot of people.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“He was, I believe, suspended; there were allegations as well that you were inside the building when all of this was happening; and so people thought you had a hand in the way your brother-in-law was conducting business there at the Free Zone?”

 

Dr. Angel Campos

“No. I did not have a hand. He called me there to work and asked for a little bit of help. It is the chairman of the board said if you can get someone here to aid us it would be fine and so he asked me for that help and I went that day and took two persons to help and that is all I did, I don’t have any other thing.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Is he back at work now?”

 

Dr. Angel Campos

“No. He is not back at work now. The Board is still looking into that matter…waiting to see what the Board decides.”

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