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Nov 24, 2022

John Saldivar Faces the Media on Corruption Allegations

This afternoon in Belize City, former Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar broke his silence, following a lengthy absence from facing the media.  The erstwhile Minister of National Security convened a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management, sans his attorney, to discuss the latest development in his political career. As many are aware, he was designated by the United States government last week as a significantly corrupt individual in public life. The sanction follows a series of allegations made against Saldivar while he was a government minister serving under the Barrow administration.  The designation prohibits Saldivar and his immediate family members from entering the United States.  It’s a classification that Saldivar says he is prepared to fight tooth and nail to clear his name.  We begin tonight with our coverage of Saldivar’s press conference, arguably the first time in many years that he has fielded questions from reporters.


John Saldivar

John Saldivar, Former Minister of Government

“My child of nine years old, though not named in the actual information sheet, is targeted by this action.  My son of fifteen years old has been named, my other son who has lived the last sixteen years in the United Kingdom has been named, as well as my daughter, my eldest daughter who has also lived in the United Kingdom for the last sixteen years has been named, as well as, of course, my wife.  I find this to be egregious.  I find this to be unjust for them to also be targeted in this, not to mention that I find it unjust to also be targeted without any opportunity at all to respond to the charges.  But this is not just about John Saldivar, this is about human rights of all.  This is about natural justice, this is about due process. Let me state, therefore, for the record, as I have stated many times before.  I am innocent of any allegations that have been made against me.  At no time have I participated in any corruption at the Immigration Department while I was the minister or even before or after.  And there can never be any proof brought out against me in that respect.  I challenge the United States government to provide that proof.  I have no difficulty in facing a trial whether here in Belize or abroad in the U.S., once those evidence are presented to me, so that I may answer properly.  I am not a corrupt person.  As a matter of fact, I have conducted myself in public life, you would almost want to say that, as the saying in Creole goes, “Macalala look like snake fu me,” when it comes to corrupt acts.  I have guarded my reputation.  Unfortunately, incidents like the one with Lev Dermen, again, where I was not involved in any corruption have cast aspersions on my reputation.”

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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