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Mar 13, 2012

New Cabinet has 2 women; 15 Ministers, 2 Junior Ministers

Dean Barrow

The U.D.P. government won seventeen of the thirty-one divisions throughout the country in last week’s general elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated last week that he would mull over the configuration of new ministers and ministries. This afternoon at the NEMO conference room in Belmopan, the PM was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, Erwin Contreras and Patrick Faber at the head table as he made his announcement. The other elected U.D.P. representatives and those who lost filled the room. In total there are fifteen ministers; eleven of whom are elected representatives and the other four being appointed through the senate. Six of the fifteen ministries have also been assigned with Ministers of State from the pool of elected representatives. In the reshuffle, Anthony “Boots” Martinez lost the Ministry of Works while Elvin Penner was demoted to a minister of state. But the fat was trimmed from DPM Vega’s ministry; he lost geology, forestry, PACT, Environment and Petroleum. In announcing his new Cabinet, the PM said he had the support of his sixteen elected colleagues.

Dean Barrow

“The Ministry of Finance will become the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. That Ministry will of course be made up of the traditional Ministry of Finance portfolio’s subject matters. But adding to those will be the following subject areas coming from the previous ministry of economic development: capital budget preparation and management, economic development planning, public sector investment program planning, development finance institutions and multilateral financing agencies, the DFC, the Social investment Fund and the Statistical Institute of Belize. I will of course retain that portfolio of finance and economic development and I will be assisted by a Minister of State—and I should make clear here that the Ministers of State that will be appointed will be given particular responsibilities for subject areas in the overall portfolio. What use to happen in the past was that people were appointed as Ministers of State and they basically were given nothing to do by ministers in some cases. What I am attempting is to ensure that the Ministers of State will be work-a-day ministers of state with particular responsibility for areas of the overall portfolio. You can’t get away from the constitutional fact that the Minister is the Minister and that the Minister of State is the Minister of State. But we can make this work on a practical level where the Minister will leave to the Minister of State the running of the Ministry with respect to the section of the Ministry that the Minister of State has been asked to work on. So I would be Minister of Finance and Economic Development and assisting me with particular responsibility for the economic development aspect of the portfolio will be the Honorable Santiago “Santino” Castillo Junior.

Santiago “Santino” Castillo Jr

So he will be in charge of capital budget preparation and management, economic development planning, public sector investment program planning, development finance institutions and multilateral financing agencies, the DFC, the very important Social investment Fund and the Statistical Institute of Belize. I will deal with the question of C.E.O.s after I give you the ministers and ministries. The old economic development ministry now becomes the Ministry of Trade, Investment, private Sector Development and Consumer Protection. In essence what I am telling you will remain intact but there may be some tweaking here and there. So that Ministry will now include foreign trade and would of course include investment promotion, international trade negotiations, industrial and commercial development, Beltraide, small business, gaming and all the consumer protection functions, the Bureau of Standards, consumer protection, fair competition, supplies and price control, weights and measures, the free zone, the exp[ort processing zones. And the Minister of Trade, Investment, private Sector Development and Consumer Protection is going to be the honorable Erwin Rafael Contreras. The former, Ministry of Natural Resources becomes the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. So, some of the old subject areas in the previous ministry of natural resources are going to new ministries. What remains is—in terms of natural resources—lands and land management, mining, land surveys, physical planning, hydrology, solid waste management and added to that is the Ministry of Agriculture. The Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture will be the deputy Prime Minister, the Honorable Gaspar Vega and he will be assisted by the Honorable Hugo Pat as Minister of State with particular responsibility for agriculture.”

Erwin Rafael Contreras

The constitution says that only two-thirds of the elected representatives will be named ministers, but the Prime Minister has appointed the remaining six representatives as ministers of state, assigning tasks, which essentially gives full ministerial power. He indicated that their salary would be commensurate with that of previous ministers of state. The PM also appointed two female ministers to Cabinet to offset concerns of the absence of women in government. In addition to Joy Grant, the Prime Minister then announced that the second female minister would be Liselle Alamilla, who is most known for her conservation work in Punta Gorda.

Dean Barrow

“There will be a new Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples. That ministry will include the subject areas of forestry, protected areas and reserves, PACT, climate change, environment, fisheries, coastal zone management authority and the looking after the relations with indigenous people. And the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples will be Senator, the Honorable Liselle Alamilla. There is going to be a new Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. And under that ministry will be geology and petroleum, electricity, gas, solar, research and development, science education public utilities including the public utilities commission, the water industry, telecommunications and energy. And the Minister of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities will be Senator, the Honorable Joy Grant. The Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs is the Honorable Wilfred Sedi Elrington.

Gaspar Vega

We have again combined Police and Defence in a Ministry of National Security. The new minister is the Honorable John Saldivar. Obviously, Belmopan is in the House. And he will be assisted by Minister of State, Elvin Penner who will have particular responsibility for immigration and border protection and the immigration department. Ministry of Housing and Urban Development remains the same and the minister remains the same; the Honorable Michael Finnegan. There is going to be now a new Ministry of Works and Transport. Transport is being combined with works and transport now includes ground, sea and air transport so that while previously land and sea transport, Port Authority, the transport and licensing board were with the Ministry of Transport, civil aviation was with the Ministry of Tourism. Well now civil aviation will also come under transport. The Minister of Works and Transport will be the Honorable Rene Montero. And he will be assisted by a Minister of State who will have full on the ground responsibility for transport and that Minister of State is the honorable Edmund Castro. The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation now becomes the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and the Minister remains the same; the Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. the Ministry of Health remains the same and the minister remains the same; the Honorable Pablo Marin.

Hugo Pat

The Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and NEMO  and I am pleased to introduce the new Minister of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development and NEMO; Senator, the Honorable Godwin Hulse. Next is the Ministry of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. And I am pleased to introduce the new Minister of the Public Service and Elections and Boundaries; Senator, the Honorable Charles Gibson. There is a new Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and poverty Alleviation. And the new Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and poverty Alleviation is the honorable Anthony Boots Martinez. He will be assisted in that Ministry by the Honorable Mark King who will have particular responsibility for the Conscious Youth Development Program and the Gang Truce Program. Then there is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The Minister of Education ,Youth and Sports is of course the Honorable Patrick Faber and he will be assisted by a Minister of State with responsibility for both youth and sports, the Honorable Herman Longsworth.”

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21 Responses for “New Cabinet has 2 women; 15 Ministers, 2 Junior Ministers”

  1. Storm says:

    For the most part Attorney Barrow is recycling what is left of a supremely ineffective administration.

    Instead of appointing politicians to run the ministries, I wish he could appoint actual experts and proven executives in the various fields.

    The members of the Assembly are elected to MAKE laws, but historically very few of them [whether UDP or PUP] have been both effective and honest in CARRYING OUT the laws they made.

    I think we need a different system, where the Assembly is separate from the executive branch. They call it “separation of powers” in the States and elsewhere, and it is not as bad as what we already have in the Jewel.

  2. Monterogottago says:

    Montero has got to be the worst minister ever in the history of Belize. He is as creole seh DUNCY. We in Cato central are organizing a protest to have him removed n will continue till he is removed. A quick review of his bank accounts which I will be providing the media outlets will show some illegal activity, this and other documents showing corruption and election fraud are coming to light. Remember me… This government will be a lame duck government just like d pups second term. Nothing will be done, pockets will be fattened since this is there last supper.

  3. Bmp man says:

    I think the PM did a wonderful job in naming his Cabinet!

    The big winner in this suffle is Hon. John Saldivar. He got National Security and retained his Public Service by making his former CEO Charles Gibson the minister.

    The big looser in this is Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez – he went from Works to Social Transformation!

    Tell me what u think guys!

  4. me says:

    @ Storm, of course, because the U.S totally does not have any corruption or problems in their government!!!

  5. Amber says:

    I think the PM should change the Financial Secretary and the Clerk of the National Assembly, he was campaigning for the election and that should never happen as he should be neutral to all members of the house and for sure Mr. Webster does not know anything about the National Assembly, he has a Bachelor in Engineer.

  6. BT says:

    Boots and King running Human Development and Social Transformation?? Happy Women’s Month, Belize :(

  7. H1N1 says:

    I am disappointed of Elvin Penner as head of immegration. He openly admitted to breaking the laws of Belize.He has broken at least three laws during his campaign. First, he broke section three-twenty nine of the constituation in assisting Guatemalans in getting on the voters list. second, He broke the Peoples Representation Act in registration of migrants who were not living in Belize for more than two months. Third, he broke immigration laws in encouraging the illegal crossing into Belize of non Belizeans to cast their vote. I am of the opinion he should be sitting in jail.

  8. jow says:

    Its unbeleivable how Rene Montero is still in play. Has the PM forgotten the mess he did here in the North with the Rice and Onion producers?????? What a mind of the Leader!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. aldo says:

    I think pollitical survival comes first and the pm is doing a grave mistake in taking in non elect people for ministers. I predict dark days for the pm and elected ministers when these people start saying no. problem is a lot of diehard supporters are left out and complete strangers brought in . Yes I agree not to bring in the loser candidates since you would have to please all but there was no need for 15 ministers. build 11 super ministries and have the elected rest serve as junior ministers. if you won you are rewarded but don,t reward someone who did not even run . that is an insult to all those that ran and lost.

  10. Belizean says:

    @H1NI. I think you must have H1N1!!!!!!!!!! HEHEHEHE Go to court if youre so darn sure about it eh? Yer say no proof ataal!! Think before u taak!

  11. Belizean says:

    Those die hard r idiots, nothing is done for them n they still support thats y they r taken for kunu munu… All thats needed from them is their votes LOL

  12. gerenemo underwood says:

    seems this pm has nothing good instore for the people of the south, nothing for the southern municipalities. i taught he would have shared the ministerial post based on the geographical location. ie each dist can so they have someone on the govt side in their area, but notso in the south.

  13. Storm says:

    Me: are YOU satisfied with the progress of Belize undr either UDP or PUP governments?

    My point is simply that people who are elected to make laws don’t necessarily have the skills to run ministries.

    And while no government in history has been free of corruption, the “checks and balances” of having separate branches reduces it. Here, they make the laws, they break the laws, and they refuse to enforce the laws — against themselves. We simply have a spoils system, “to the victor go the spoils.” And those spoils are government land, public money, monopolies.

    I have a child, and Belize will be worse for him than it was for my generation.

    What do you think about those points?

  14. John Boy,Carson,Ca says:

    I do not think elected Members of the House should even be a part of the cabinet. The cabinet is not a reward club for winning.I also thinking thjat each member of the cabinet should go through an approval process like they do in the U.S.The P.M could recommend, but the house should approve after interview,and not just rubber stamp

  15. now i see says:

    Instead of complaining uno go back to work. Computers at the ofice is only to be use for working and sometimes to play solitary. Uno wait to go home or if you no got internet go to a computer cafe.

  16. Elgin Martinez says:

    Big up our two Belizean Sisters that were appointed to the Cabinet.

  17. PG resident says:

    Mark King in charge of gangs, how funny,

  18. OriginalWoman says:

    @ Storm and Me….With all the “seperation of powers”, there is still a LOT of CORRUPTION in government here in the USA….Most Politicians are Politricans….They study LAW to become LAWYERS but end up being LEGAL LIARS. As the move up, they become corrupt and greedy. What you all are going through in Belize happens in the USA all the time, on a much larger scale. When George Bush won the election, most of us knew he STOLE it….But, he became the President….When he LIED and told the WORLD that Sadam Hussein had Weapons Of Mass Destruction and used that as a reason to invade and later on murder Sadaam, a lot of people believed him, until it came to light that Sadaam never had WMD….He started a war with the Middle East that continues up to this day…..Why do people think thart everything that the USA does is the right and proven way??? Belizeans can get it together without trying to follow another country’s method….. Any country you follow, will probably reap the same results because MOST POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT AND ABOUT TRICKERY!!! I pray, that things improve wether it happens under UDP, PUP, INDEPENDENTLY, ETC…. It really does not matter.

  19. losers says:


  20. nobody says:

    haha ^

  21. Me says:

    Injustice continue to play a big role with Belize GOB UDP, its so unfair to terminate an employee just because a Minister would like a friend to have a work.

    Mr. Edwin Contresas has unemployed a hardworking person just to employee his friend. Don’t think that we all need a work and if would like to hire find a work without leaving somenone without a job.

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