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Jul 4, 2017

The Ministers are coming to Belmopan on Wednesday

Anthony Martinez

Wednesday’s Senate Special Select Committee public hearing in Belmopan is expected to turn up the heat on the Government of Belize. For the first time, sitting Ministers in Cabinet will be appearing before the Committee. In fact, one of the two scheduled witnesses, Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, was called to appear last week, but his testimony was put off. Martinez will be joined by Minister of Transport and National Emergency Management Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro. Both are accused of participating in a visa recommendation ring with Alvarine Burgess, in which she testified a few weeks ago that she paid bribe money of two thousand dollars to each man, in the case of Castro multiple times, to secure their all-important recommendations. Both men deny the accusation. We repeat what Martinez told reporters following his appearance in Belmopan last Wednesday.

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Minister of Human Development (File: June 28, 2017)

“She is nowhere in that report. And for even myself to be answering or try to reply to hearsay – Mrs. Burgess is not in that report at all; that is why I say I find it to be a circus. Somebody who is not in the report you call; you summon me to come as Minister and then you tell me you not ready for me yet; when in my view, my humble opinion, who was not named in any report, who is not a Minister, who is not a public officer, was summoned before the Senate Select Committee. I find it to be a joke, like a circus.”

 

Reporter

“Sir, let me ask you this: as a policy-maker, someone who should be interested in making things better in the country – referring specifically to Ms. Burgess, while she was not named in the report, what she claims happened, happened during the period that the report refers to. Don’t you feel that the public should hear from her and hear what the truth is, so that we enhance operations at the Department, which is one of the objectives of the Senate?”

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

“Two things: this Senate Select Committee is required to look on what transpired in the report, not outside the report. Now if you are talking about what transpired between the period 2011 to 2013 and what lays in the report, that is the terms of reference of the Senate Select Committee.”

 

Two members of the Committee will be absent from Wednesday’s proceedings: Senator Eamon Courtenay, to be replaced by Michel Chebat, and for the first time, Chairman Aldo Salazar. We will have the hearings broadcast live and the highlights in Wednesday evening’s newscast.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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