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Oct 18, 2019

Eamon Courtenay Responds to PM Barrow’s Letter

A lengthy two-page diatribe was released late on Thursday evening in which Prime Minister Dean Barrow took a number of swipes at Opposition Leader John Briceño in response to a letter written on October fifteenth in which he threatens court action on the write-off to Joshua Perdomo.  The PM’s two-page rejoinder, released through the Government Press Office, is seen as unflattering for the office of the PM.  While he went to great pains to explain a cabinet decision to write off a forty thousand dollar debt left behind by Joshua Perdomo, the tone of the letter is seen to be equally tactless. Barrow tells Briceño that his letter was a “weaponization of falsehoods, unsustainable conclusions and downright dishonest.”

Joshua Perdomo

In his missive, Barrow calls the letter by Briceño as a crass and opportunistic screed designed to score points off the public outrage that followed the discovery that Joshua Perdomo is the son of the Cabinet Secretary. This morning, former P.U.P. senator Eamon Courtenay, who is also the party’s legal counsel, weighed in on the letter, as well as measures being taken by the opposition to have the debt collected via the court process.


Eamon Courtenay

Eamon Courtenay, Attorney, People’s United Party

“To be quite honest, I was surprised but I guess I should not be surprised.  The letter was unbecoming for a prime minister.  The letter was personal, low, unnecessarily caustic, but I guess we should expect that from him when he’s confronted with truths and when someone speaks truth to his power.  The fact is that he as the Minister of Finance has an obligation to collect that money and as the Leader of the Opposition says, he is in breach of his duty and responsibility to all Belizeans.  From a purely moral perspective, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Belizean students and others who are paying back loans and honoring their obligations to the Government of Belize.  Joshua Perdomo, only because of his name, his family connection and his political protection provided by the prime minister and his cabinet is being given special treatment.  The party leader had said very clearly and he has instructed it, that we are going to commence legal action to have this all set aside.  The fact of the matter is that a write-off by the National Assembly where no one has attempted to collect it from Mr. Perdomo is wrong.  The prime minister in his letter doesn’t say anything about attempting to collect it.  What efforts were made?  They want us to believe that they have made efforts, they have made none.  It is protection that they are giving to Mr. Perdomo.  What about the surety who is right here, not paid.  What about the decency of the Perdomo family, his father who is enjoying a very high paying job in Belize and doesn’t care that his son is being exempted from paying back forty thousand dollars which he solemnly swore to do?  This type of rot and corruption must come to an end and the People’s United Party is going to bring a claim to have this declared unlawful and to compel Mr. Perdomo to honor his obligation and if he doesn’t do it then his surety will have to do it, like everybody else who is dragged before the courts when they fail to uphold their obligation.  There should be no exemptions for politically connected persons like Joshua Perdomo.”

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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