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Dec 20, 2017

Who’s really behind San Pedro airport project?

Eamon Courtenay

The sudden unraveling of Jorge Jaen’s dubious past has set tongues wagging. The Miami-based developer has managed to wangle a memorandum of understanding for a multi-million dollar development project for the Efrain Guerrero International Airport in San Pedro.  A little digging by local media has uncovered previous convictions for fraudulent activity in the U.S. dating as far back as 1999, and his company appears to be only recently formed.  There are, however, even more questions than answers about Jaen’s mysterious partners, who came to his defense earlier this week.  Also, what did the government – minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras and his deputy Tracey Taegar-Panton, and of tourism Manuel Heredia Junior – know and how soon? All of this provides for a troubling stew according to attorney Eamon Courtenay.


Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“Quite frankly, the press release that has been issued by the company has raised more questions than answers. What we really want to know – at least the People’s United Party wants to know – is who are the main players in this company? It can’t be the gentleman who is now exposed for what he is; he is one of others. Because if you read the press release, they don’t identify who they are, but they say we brought him in, we tolerated and allowed him to come into the company. So who are the people who have experience in airport development, in airport management, in airport operations? I would like to see and I believe all Belizeans would like to see the business plan that would support such a massive investment in north Ambergris Caye, around which there is absolutely no facilities, nothing. one hopes that the Government has done its due diligence; if it has done its due diligence, it means that the Government knew who they were dealing with. As far as I am aware, the Government has not issued any press release, they have not made any comment since the information has become public about the man’s character. The question is, is this the type of persons that Belize wants to do business with? You see, these things, at first sight, may seem trivial, but I can tell you this: there is going to be a problem if they proceed with this with this gentleman. An airport is a hyper-sensitive area in any country. It is a point for serious illegality. I would suspect that the international organizations that deal with airports – I would suspect that international airlines are going to look very carefully at whether or not an airport is being developed by a person who is not fit and proper, and if a person is not fit and proper, they are not going to issue the regulatory certificates that are necessary for planes to land there and for the airport to operate. This is a serious matter; a very serious matter.”

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