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Jul 3, 2017

Ramon Cervantes Says P.M. Can’t Prove “Threat” Accusation

Gaspar Vega

Three years ago this week, the Cervantes family of Orange Walk Town was plunged into a personal and political nightmare. Personal, because of losing their patriarch, Ramon Cervantes Senior, to an alleged plot that left him battered and dead in a shallow grave along the Honey Camp Road. Political, because the absconded chief plotter Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo Mendez implicated no less than a senior police officer and the then-deputy Prime Minister of Belize, Gaspar Vega, resulting in Vega filing a defamation suit in the Supreme Court. And of course, Vega defeated Cervantes in a general election race a year later. Their blood feud escalated a step further with the Prime Minister’s comments, which Ramon Cervantes Junior firmly denied in speaking with News Five today in Belize City. Aaron Humes has more.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: June 30th, 2017]

“After the circumstances which saw him resign from Cabinet, there were all sorts of threats made against him and his family, as far as we can determine, promulgated in particular by his defeated P.U.P. opponent from the last election. Any citizen, and in particular somebody who is a member of this National Assembly, confronted by that kind of specific threat, is entitled to protection from the police.”

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

As firm as the Prime Minister’s statement was, Ramon Cervantes Junior’s rebuttal today was equally emphatic.

 

Reporter

“Have you ever personally, privately, otherwise in any way, expressed any desire to harm or hurt Mr. Vega at all, or his family at all?”

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

Ramon Cervantes Jr., Denies Threatening Gaspar Vega

“Never, sir. As a matter of fact the Prime Minister – I think you are referring to the Prime Minister’s attack on me personally and I will say that what the Prime Minister uttered against me is a damn blasted lie.”

 

Reporter

“And anybody in relation with you or friends of yours in that constituency at all have expressed any sentiment like this, at all?”

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“No, sir; on the contrary, my people called me and said ‘what is this guy talking about?’ If that was true, they would have arrested us. You know how things are in Belize, especially this government; if me or anyone from my camp would have uttered something – even an innuendo of what is being accused of me – you know I would have been arrested and I would have at least been detained for an interrogation.”

 

Ramon Cervantes Sr.

It particularly stings for the Cervantes family that the comments come at this sad time for them personally. But Ramon Junior, noting the protection afforded to members of the National Assembly for comments made during official meetings, demanded that the Prime Minister and Orange Walk Police produce their evidence.

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“I assert unequivocally that the Prime Minister himself cannot show, cannot find, cannot point to any genuine and official record of any complaint against me, or of any genuine event where the Police has interviewed me or interrogated me in regards to his accusation, to support the allegations, the false lie that he told to the Belizean people.”

 

Cervantes offered his own theory of why Vega might need protection.

 

Reporter

“Do you think Mr. Vega has anything to fear, anything to worry about at this point?”

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“From my perspective, no; but I don’t know if he knows about certain things that makes him fear for his life. Because in regard to the false allegation made against me by the Prime Minister at the House of Representatives, I call on the Commissioner of Police to look into the police records, so that he proves or disproves the comments of the Prime Minister; and I guarantee you that he will not find anything that can prove the Prime Minister’s comments.”

 

And he told us, he will not be distracted from his goal of successfully removing Vega from his Orange Walk North seat.

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“We are working on trying to garner, to raise funds for that. If you look at it, a recall is like three campaigns, three elections, basically; and there’s a threshold, also; so it takes a lot of resources and that’s what we are working on, trying to collect resources and from there move on.”

 

Reporter

“Do you believe he will voluntarily give up his seat as he said after the last election at the end of the current term?”

 

Ramon Cervantes Jr.

“I don’t know; I would surmise that he would want to stay in his seat for protection, for certain immunities that being a member of the House affords an area rep, so only he knows his deeds.”

 

Aaron Humes reporting for News Five.

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