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Sep 19, 2019

PM Finally Weighs In On Joshua Perdomo Debt Amnesty

Joshua Perdomo

The forty-thousand dollar debt write-off for Joshua Perdomo, son of Cabinet Secretary Carlos Perdomo, was finally addressed by PM Barrow this afternoon, several weeks after the cabinet-approved motion was brought to the House of Representatives.  Joshua, the youngest son of the former Minister of National Security, was away on study leave in 2009 and, according to PM Barrow, was being paid his monthly salary.  When he did not return to Belize following his studies, government sought to but was unable to recover those monies and ten years later, opted to waive the arrears.  The Prime Minister says he did not know he was the son of his cabinet secretary and besides, that the statute of limitations during which legal action could have been taken against Perdomo to recover the debt expired after a six-year period.

 

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Remember that when the matter came from the Ministry of National Security to the Ministry of Finance, the recommendation for the write-off, and the Ministry of Finance brought it to Cabinet so that it could go to the next house meeting, Carlos Perdomo was in Taiwan.  [He] had been on a month’s holiday so he wasn’t there and there was no opportunity for him to say well, “I just want to tell Cabinet that this is my son.”  I saw the name Perdomo and I figured it must be a member of the Perdomo family, but that’s an extended family, that’s a large clan.  So I did not know that it was actually the Cab Sec’s son.  If I had known, I’m not quite sure what my reaction would have been because I hear you and I accept that this write-off has left a very bad taste in the mouths of Belizeans, but there’s a degree of misunderstanding.  Mr. Joshua Perdomo, not sticking to the agreement he made, is deplorable, but with respect to government and any institution, writing off uncollectible debts is par for the course.  You do that, you don’t leave this untidy situation.  What you have to remember is that it is not as though the write-off was done while there was still any possibility of collecting from Mr. Perdomo.  The matter had become statute barred, so there was no chance even if Perdomo returned to the country, there was no chance of collecting the money because it had become statute barred.”


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