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Sep 13, 2023

When will Area Rep Andre Perez Return to Cabinet?

Belize Rural South Area Representative Andre Perez remains on a leave of absence, as an investigation into a sex scandal involving the cabinet minister is being concluded.  On August twenty-first, Prime Minister John Briceño accepted a request from Perez and granted permission for the besieged Minister of Blue Economy to take time off from work amid public outrage over an alleged dalliance he had with a resident of Caye Caulker.  When the scandal broke last month, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs was tasked with investigating the matter and advising the PM on whether there was any actionable wrongdoing.  When we caught up with Cabinet Secretary Stuart Leslie this afternoon, we asked for an update on the investigation.


Stuart Leslie

Stuart Leslie, Cabinet Secretary

“If you will recall, when Minister Perez asked the Prime Minister for a leave of absence from the Cabinet, the Prime Minister then met with Cabinet and coming out of Cabinet was a decision that the Attorney General would investigate if there was any wrongdoing in this incident.  Indeed, Minister Perez has already apologized to his wife, to his Cabinet, to his constituency and pretty much the nation and so, the time span has not expired yet.  I think the time limit was given as around a month and so, in a couple of weeks time I am sure that the Attorney General will have something to update Cabinet on where his office is in terms of that investigation.”


Isani Cayetano

“Where do you stand on the matter considering the fact that it can be argued from perhaps a moral and an ethical standpoint, in terms of the allegations back and forth between himself and Ms. Axillou, considering the fact that he is a public figure?  He is an elected official.”


Stuart Leslie

“A former politician once said, you can’t kill a man two times.  I think Mr. Perez has apologized more than once, I know for sure he has apologized through his statement, he has apologized to his family, he apologized to his Cabinet and that is as far as I am able to go.  As a human being, I feel for him, I feel for his family and for his children.  Minister Perez is a personal friend that I know very well and so it is not for me to judge him, it is only for me to support him as a friend.  But in my responsibility as the Cabinet Secretary, I am only allowed to report what Cabinet is doing.  And so, in that respect, I don’t have, I can’t have an opinion on the other side of things.  That will come out in the investigation that the Cabinet has ordered.”

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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