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Jan 8, 2020

“El Que No Debe No Teme”, says John Briceño

In early December 2019, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent a letter to the government in which it requested documents related to the multimillion dollars infrastructure contract worth one hundred and thirty three million dollars awarded to Imer Hernandez for the Coastal Highway Upgrading Project. When asked about the request, Prime Minister Dean Barrow on December twentieth said, “And they will get every, their request fully and completely complied with… So I have spoken to the president of the Chamber but I believe that they might have already have gotten the information that they asked for. There is nothing to hide.”   But the Chamber has not received the documents requested. According to Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, the Chamber did not properly invoke the Freedom of Information Act. Commenting on the matter today Opposition Leader John Briceño said that if the Barrow Administration has nothing to hide then the Chamber’s request should be fully complied with. 


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“Let’s say it is a given that they quoted the wrong section of the Act; the Attorney General and the Prime Minister know what it is that they are requesting. Why do they have to wait until they send another letter to cite the correct section of the Act? Just give it to them. They are asking it from you. If you have nothing to hide give it to them. As we say in Spanish, ‘el que no debe no teme.’  But it seems that they have something to hide. Give the report. Not just give the sanitized portion that they signed. Give the bids and the whole process that they went through for us to see what really happened because I spoke to some of the people that were involved that they were saying that it was very clear that no company was going to be given both contracts that they can only get one. And here we have a company that has a contract on the George Price Highway that is way behind, that after eight months of work has only twenty-four point six percent of the work according to the Ministry of Works and now they only have ten months to finish the balance. And the first culvert that they built caved in because it was baldy built and now that very same company was given not only one contracts but both contracts. It is a lot of questions and maybe that is why the Prime Minister and the AG are afraid of giving all the documents. We don’t only want the contracts. We want everything for us to see what really happened when the two contracts were awarded to one incompetent company.”

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