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Feb 6, 2013

Prime Minister calls union’s economist ‘off’

Jose Castellanos

On February first, union leaders met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, but they did so without an integral part of the team. Just one day before the meeting, president of the A.P.S.S.M., Jose Castellanos—the man considered the numbers guru and firebrand of the team—withdrew. There have been reports that his sudden departure from the scene was brought on by attacks from U.D.P. propagandists on WAVE Radio and intimidation on the job at a government level. The Prime Minister says those allegations are nonsense, and pulled no punches in calling the whole Castellanos situation a bit ‘off.’ 


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“Mister Castellanos, I’m not sure how much you knew about the sequence of events but Mr. Castellanos had applied to go off medically unfit so that he could get all his benefits from August of last year. He had discussed his request with his C.E.O. who said fine, the ministry will support you and the Ministry formally gave that in September of last year. He became president of the A.P.S.S.M. I believe in October when he knew that his request to be medically boarded if you can call it that; was already in trail. When I got the letter that you had asked me about on the Thursday at which point I had not received yet; I got the letter on the Friday morning, I also got documentation that showed that the medical board before which he appeared had already ruled in favor of his going off medically unfit had put up a formal recommendation that he be allowed to collect his benefits at leave. The director of health services concurred with that recommendation before or either before on the day or the Friday when Mr. Castellanos sends me his letter. So that’s when in his letter he says I believe I’m being intimidating and I’m coming off the negotiating team because otherwise the rest of my tenure over the next two years as president of the A.P.S.S.M. will be a kind of living hell for me. My god man at that point he knew that he was retiring from the government service at his instance, at his request; I find that a little bit off.”


According to the unions, Castellanos will be meeting with their representatives once schedules permit.

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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2 Responses for “Prime Minister calls union’s economist ‘off’”

  1. Bear says:

    It sounds like a scam the way the PM explains it. If he is “medically unfit” as a teacher so he must be given his pension, how can he possibly be “medically fit” to preside over the APSSM?

    Inquiring minds want those questions answered. I hope some reporter will get to the bottom of it, or some civic reform group. I don’t like any crooks stealing from the public cookie jar, so I want to know that is not the case with this man.

  2. Jose Acosta says:

    1. PM story is not gelling
    2. Normally when these things go up for consideration it takes long for a decision to be made
    3. So how all of a sudden the Health board meets and grants the man leave?
    4. So why PM has in his possession Castellanos file (is he micro managing)
    5. Barrow sees an opportunity to get rid of Castellanos , who has poked holes in his economic report and has put him to shame.
    6. Vintage Barrow ..he now tells Belize how ingenious Castellanos is…

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