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Mar 2, 2018

Montero payments “abuse” says Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay

Five members of Minister Rene Montero’s family, in 1998, acquired between them eighty-one acres of land in two pristine and remote locations. One was the Privassion Enclave in the Mountain Pine Ridge and the other on northern Ambergris Caye. They paid a total of twenty-four thousand, two hundred and thirty-six dollars. But after the properties were reacquired in 1999, the Monteros apparently waited until a more receptive administration – their own – was in power to collect compensation. They did – more than three point one million in actual compensation and interest of seven percent. The wait is not illegal, according to Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay. But the excessive spending is, and the guilt is distributed throughout Cabinet and particularly in the hands of former Lands Minister Gaspar Vega, and Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow. Courtenay told us they must all be held to account.

 

Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Legal Adviser

“There is no specific provision in the law, and as you know, the Financial Secretary keeps saying that there is this massive bill, in the tens of millions, for property that has been compulsorily acquired by the Government for which they have not paid compensation. What you have here is political preference given to the Montero family – plain and simple in terms of them being paid. Secondly, what you have is obscene prices being paid, way above market value, for these pieces of property, because of their political connections. What you have is an abuse of Ministerial power. And let us not lose sight – this money can only be paid with the approval of the Ministry of Finance, so it is not only the Ministry of Natural Resources – they get their money for it from the Ministry of Finance. So the Government – the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Natural Resources are well aware of what is happening in this type of transaction. And Belizeans are sick and tired of it. The important thing is this: somebody has to be called to account.”

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2 Responses for “Montero payments “abuse” says Eamon Courtenay”

  1. Marwaione says:

    Belizeans election time is near, get rid of all the RATS and vote in all Progressive members

  2. scott gray says:

    I wonder when the corruption bill will allow ministers to face jail time,Guatemala has these into practice,their politicians gets jailed often,Mexico,both our neighbors,so why can’t us?

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