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Sep 19, 2019

PM Castigates U.S. Authorities for Denying Reynaldo Verde Visitation

Reynaldo Verde

Deputy Tax Service Director Reynaldo Verde remains in federal custody at a detention facility in Warsaw, Virginia, pending extradition to the Southern District of Florida where he will stand trial on a number of charges.  Verde was detained while transiting through the United States on September seventh, upon returning from Brussels where he attended a taxation workshop on behalf of the Government of Belize.  Those charges arise from an allegation of extortion put forward by the principals of a real estate development in the Corozal District known as Punta Allegre.  What is totally unacceptable, according to Prime Minister Barrow, is U.S. authorities’ denial of Verde’s entitlement to meet with officials from the Embassy of Belize while in detention. 


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Well we still have not seen the details of the charges; we’re told that it will be available on some website.  Look, I don’t know what the circumstances are.  What I can say is this; the United States authorities have not acted in a way that the Government of Belize finds satisfactory.  Indeed they have acted in a way that should form the basis of some kind of complaint on our behalf, nothing to do with detaining this man, nothing to do with charging this man.  It has to do with the fact that the rules of committee, the rules of the relations between states recognize and accept that each country is entitled to seek to protect its nationals.  In the case of Mr. Verde, when he was detained and the Embassy of Belize found out, officials from that embassy attempted to see Mr. Verde and were denied what is a well-established, international obligation, as far as I am concerned, on the part of the United States.  If they want to tell you it’s something to do with the Patriot Act, but no, this is some allegation of extortion.  So a regular, almost garden variety type of criminal offense, how on earth can the government of the United States, supposedly one of the greatest upholders of the rule of law in the universe, deny Mr. Verde the right for his consular and embassy officials to have access to him?”

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