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Jan 22, 2014

Special Sitting of the House; Castro’s Cheques from Airports Authority discussed

Today was the first sitting of the House of Representatives for 2014. And as has become practice rather than rule, sparks flew across from both sides of the aisle. Now, numerous bills were tabled and one was fast tracked through the three stages. But we start first with a story we had been following involving Minister of State, Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro. Now Castro has been in the headlines since last year for his alleged involvement in what is now dubbed as the visa hustle. He was allegedly receiving two thousand dollars for facilitating each visa. But on Tuesday night, it was about checks. We reported the incredible story of checks written on the account of the Belize Airports Authority. Some of those checks were issued directly to Castro and others were allegedly given to him to pay debts he incurred personally and politically. If the story is true, it’s an unbelievable fleecing of the public purse by a man who has been mired in controversy and has even been fired once by his boss for a corrupt land deal. Castro was conspicuously absent from the House meeting today, but he didn’t escape very prominent and focused attention from his peers on both sides of the House.


Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition

Francis Fonseca

“There are cheques here made out to him. Cheque number zero-zero-four-nine-five-four in the amount of nine hundred dollars to Edmond Castro…Belize Bank cheque Airport Authority to Edmond Castro. Cheque number zero-zero-four-nine-five-seven in the amount of four thousand dollars to Edmond Castro. Belize Airport Authority cheque number zero-zero-five-zero-six-six in the amount of five thousand one hundred and fifty-six dollars and fifty-five cents made out to Edmond Castro. Man this is absolute nonsense Mister Speaker, absolute nonsense, and that is just a sampling man. I have over sixty cheques here either made for the members personal-use for him to cash or for him to use for political purposes or to help family members. There is a growing perception out there that corruption is eating away at this U.D.P. government and the Belizean people have had enough. And so it is a very important issue Mister Speaker and as I said earlier, our prime minister who started out on this very high horse and very high note of not being prepared to even stand a whiff of corruption now finds himself in the unenviable position of having to be defending everybody who is involved or alleged to be involved in corruption and it is eating away across the government.”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“This is not corruption. The Airports Authority in the full exercise of their jurisdiction obviously assisted the minister on several different occasions. I will tell you right off that I find it utterly and completely distasteful and I think the Airports Authority and the minister are both wrong. So don’t think I am here making any apology for anybody, but call it what it is man. It is not corruption. He didn’t steal the money from the Airports Authority; he didn’t get the money under false pretenses. He obviously was of the view that the Airports Authority, which is a statutory body associated with the section of the ministry for which he is responsible, could be asked to assist him and his constituents politically. I don’t say that it is right, but that practice is as ancient as the hills.”

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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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12 Responses for “Special Sitting of the House; Castro’s Cheques from Airports Authority discussed”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    He is right, it’s not corruption. That’s too nice a word for them. Castro pass that gate long time. This is more like “financial sodomy”. This is way pass “corruption”. Thanks for the lesson in semantics Deano!

  2. curious says:

    chek dis bally out. e crucify Musa to di nomo nomo fi wrang tings and call musa wah hole latta names, dat e no fit fi de eena di house and wah hole latta ada tings. now deh ya two bredda no diffrent, dem di hussle big time n d ting weh get me dat di sanctimonios man weh talk wah latta krap wen e mi eena opozishan like e kant bruk egg, now e di bruk rakstone, di protek dem 2 husslaz tooth an nail. a wanda who else no di hussle big time eena di govament why bredda barrow di protek dem so much an e look like bekaaz e dah wah lawya weh e seh evry bady shuud aksep it. maybe e no intrestid fi govan again eena di nex round. well we deh rite yah mi p, di watch u fi si if u di liv up to u wod. dah we wah decide u fate wen time fi give u di grade pappi. jus mek sure unu hide all unu traks. but tings wah leek out still jus like deh yah ones di leak out. see, weh goes around komes around.

  3. Rod says:

    I always knew that you are the biggest thief judas it starts with you and go down we as citizens need to arrest this pm and all corrupt ministers we do not have to wait on this corrupt gov. To do its job we can do it ourselves we need to arrest judas and all hic corrupt ministers.



  5. A Jew says:

    Barrow you make me sick! You really think we Belizeans are so dum?

  6. islandboy70 says:

    I cannot believe this damn Prime Minister. He has no shame. Di man no thief? You stupid or what! No, you know what? he think that da we Belizeans stupid. Castro is taking money from the Government for personal use. The money is not his! Doesn’t he get a salary? and he will tell us that this is not stealing nor is it corruption? What a cynical idiot to think that we will all just sit here and swallow that. It is very obvious to me that Barrow has no intention to run again as Prime Minister. I had a lot of respect for this guy and for UDP in a whole but I will tell you that is not so anymore. the F%$#@#g sad thing is that the damn PUP will do the same thing when they get in office. When will this ever stop? When will we see a minister go to jail for these for corruption. Look at what is happening right now in the USA. An ex-governer and his wife will more than likely spend time behind bars for accepting personal gifts for political favors.
    Compared the accepting of gifts from the ex-governor to what Castro and Penner has been caught doing. What will happen to Penner and Castro? Absolutely nothing. Fast forward to next term, more than likely PUP will win then the cycle begins again just with new actors. This $hit will never stop. I am sick and tired of this same $hit over and over again.

  7. Bzean says:

    If this is not theft then lets all line up to get multiple cheques so that we can pay off our own debts. Apparently this is free money and it should be available to all. This is plain and simple robbery and it is criminal and illegal. Plain and simple!

  8. ceo says:

    Like you said Mr Barrow it is not right! If I remember correctly you ran on the pretence that you will correct these things that are not right! I did not hear one word like that cross your lips in your response. If the GOB sanctions corruption this does not make it correct: sanctioned corruption is corruption nonetheless!

    How can he stand there and even have the nerve to say what he said?

    Sad; very sad

  9. Citizen says:

    The two sided sharpen machete PM has truly lost his marbles. He has lost control of corruption in his ranks, and Castro need to be hold accountable to repay back all those monies. Government money is not his piggey bank account which he can access at will. I am totally shock that the board actually help facilitate this corruption and they should be fired or better resign while they might still have a little dignity left. Can you imagine what would happen if every minister had their way with out tax money?

  10. Guerra says:

    The PM is good at making a real nasty situation of daylight robbery sound like a baby taking candy from it’s mother! The man surely lost his machete, because Castro keep bubbling up with new ways to being caught with his hands in the kitty, and getting away scotch free because PM want to hold on to power. If the pm so like this man, then he should pay back the money on Castro’s behalf. We know that isn’t going to happen.

  11. Turo says:

    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck. Guess what…….

  12. Patriot says:

    It’s not corruption in the UDP Constitution!!

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