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Oct 15, 2013

Barrow says Penner should resign as area rep and U.D.P.

There are new developments from the ongoing immigration corruption saga which makes a bye-election in Cayo Northeast a strong possibility. But here’s the biggest, first…Elvin Penner has been asked to resign as area representative of Cayo Northeast, effective immediately. That bombshell was delivered by his political boss this morning at a press briefing in Belmopan. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, he was forced to make that difficult decision after new evidence of irregularities was unearthed this weekend. The embattled Penner, who has become a public pariah for his involvement in the passport scandal, is currently in Guatemala and Penner was hurled under the bus this morning by his colleagues. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Maybe it was mounting public pressure. Perhaps it was growing awareness that too much political capital is being expended on behalf of a man whose name has become synonymous with the passport scandal. The PM says it wasn’t that – it was simply new evidence found by Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse – evidence found during an investigation into all documents signed by Elvin Penner since April 2013.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“Over the long weekend the Minister and the director and I believe the C.E.O. invested some long hours on this exercise and the result is that the Minister was obliged to inform me yesterday and was obliged to inform Cabinet this morning that more evidence has surfaced of the involvement of Elvin Penner in other instances of what to us is impropriety.”


The PM’s mantra throughout this saga has been that while there may be factual evidence, it may not be enough to hold up in a court of law. He reiterated that this morning, but says that it was enough to force his hand where Penner is concerned.


Elvin Penner

Dean Barrow

“The material presented to Cabinet was and is enough for us to feel that Elvin Penner was involved in additional instances of what I will term irregularities. In that context the Cabinet as in fact the essence of the parliamentary party and certainly the essence of the party in the House of Representatives has decided that we can in the circumstances no longer continue to support Elvin Penner, meaning that in our view he cannot any longer continue to represent the people of the Cayo Northeast constituency as and in the name of the United Democratic Party.”


So Penner has been asked to resign, and the ball is now in his court. It’s a tricky situation, since the constitution does not allow the U.D.P. to expel him from his seat in Cayo Northeast.


Dean Barrow

“We hereby invite Honorable Penner to resign his seat, to resign in fact from the United Democratic Party, but I make clear that while we are acting now with the same regard to the norms that this party is sworn to uphold, we cannot expel Penner from the House of Representatives.”


Penner is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, and so is the U.D.P. The neatest option, says PM Barrow, would be for Penner to pack his bags and go quietly into that goodnight.


Dean Barrow

“If Honorable Penner heeds our request that he resign from the House or that he resign from the U.D.P., which would produce the same result, then the procedures are set in place for him to vacate the seat and for a bye-election to take place. If Hon. Penner refuses to resign from the U.D.P. or from the House then I am afraid there’s not a thing that any of us can do to oust him from that seat.”


That leaves only the recall process, though according to the PM, the opposition’s progress in that area leaves him with little hope that it will succeed. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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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16 Responses for “Barrow says Penner should resign as area rep and U.D.P.”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    King Dean really takes us for fools. The Immigration Department should be renamed appropriately: The Human Trafficking Department. To paraphrase him, “even a first year law student” would know he and the UDP have a systemic corruption problem. Plus, he being a learned attorney, knows Penner has broken the law. Yet they let him run. It’s simple, Penner tries to hold the seat for them to keep it from going blue, he takes all the wrap for this, gets to stay out of jail, and most importantly, does NOT open his Hymn book and start singing. Problem for King Dean is that there is still Eric Chang, Erwin Contreras, John Saldivar, Rene Montero et al out there. Channel 5, please keep digging!!

  2. criminal magnet says:

    Dean O. Barrow now is the time for you to resign.

    It is over, the emperor has no clothes. As you said, the government will fall.

    Are you going to stay in Belize. Stare down the prosecution?

    If the shredders are working overtime, you have a pretty good chance of not being convicted.

    And if the lame prosecutors that you got working for you, prosecute you, this can be all wrapped up by xmas and you can go on that long deserved vacation and start planning the UDP comeback.

    Penner is toast, but that is why he was picked to be the fall guy, the UDP scape goat. Everybody knew it was not going to last forever, an exit plan is needed. All the lightning bolts to him, to save the rest of those hard working corruption officers, the UDP rats.

  3. Concern says:

    The PM need to resign, because he has set up BIM investment company whose responsibility is to invest money through them in all districts, before 2016. This band of greedy thieving mongrels, can never, and should never be given any more opportunity to hustle. They prove themselves dishonest in the immigration scandal, so how in the world can anyone trust them to handle our money in any investment scheme. If they were honorable men, maybe we could trust them, on honorable hustlers are more suited to call them! They have Barrow back peddling trying to save face, but too much is at for the people of Belize. We need to find out more about the visa scandal from which these guys are creaming the $$$$$$$$$$$$!

  4. Concern says:

    The PM said; “The people of Cayo NE will see a development never before seen in the history of this country. We take deep offence to this statement. If the country have so much money, then our teachers and public officers need to demand their raise a pay, because the man is saying I have enough money to bribe all of you to vote UDP down the line. This is the country’s purse, not his private stash, which WE KNOW IS ALSO LARGE, and it should not be spent this way. He should not be allowed to ramp up ANY SPENDING, especially in an attempt to BRIBE the voters. This man want to hold on to power at all cost. We must shut this kraizey government down!

  5. belizean patriot says:

    while u are at it kerr the scandal ridden rene montero wid u. and contreras and saldivar. all involved. the facts are coming soon, just relax and enjoy d show.

  6. Refinery says:

    I have regained confidence in the Prime Minister. All of you are here bringing this man down, If this was the PUP we would not even know of any of this. The PM could have easily hid this under a mat and we would not know of it and the only reason we do is because he himself exposed it.

    I lost confidence when he was gonna fight to keep Penner in the house when it was obvious that he was a crook. But asking him to resign when he has a slim majority in the house, takes balls. PM, the sensible and rational thinking people of this country congratulates you.

    PS. note to the PUP, So long as a Fonseca/Musa are in the backroud pulling strings, you will not get our votes. Take them out and we’ll consider it.

  7. aldo says:

    i am not a religious man but here goes. jesus said let him who has not sinned throw the first stone. agreed the udp is corrupt but so is the pup.

  8. Buju says:


    Well said!

    I was skeptical about the PM’s decision to be backing Penner after all this but as usual the PM is one step ahead of the PUP.
    1 – when George Price died he beat them to the punch and indicated there will be a public and bank holiday and ask the nation to go in mourning
    2 – beat them to the punch in a speech for Independence when he said there will never be another George Price
    3 – beat them to the punch in firing Penner from Cabinet
    4 – beat them to the punch by asking him to resign
    5 – beat them to the punch again and again

    The truth is there is a few things i don’t agree with in the UDP but they would still get my vote over the pup (because of Musa and Fonseca)

  9. Pelican says:

    This is a very serious matter. Any investigation must include an “overseer: from the public who is known not to be a Fanatic PUP or UDP. There is too much at stake and the margin in the house too thin. The UDP have shown their main concern Which is to stay in power. Not the integrity of the department. Everyone except them know that at least two other ministers are also in this mess. Not to mention the “courier” missing in action – Eric Chan. Then again what kind of administrator is Godwin! He does not know what is going in his ministry – after all the “TALKING” he did before being anointed oops sorry appointed.

  10. Guerra says:

    While Jesus said, let those without sin cast the first stone, he also said go forth and sin no more. These ministers are sinning, not hiding, and fully know what they continue to do and we cannot allow this rampant corruption to continue. The bible says, bad things continue to happen when good people refuse to say or do anything about it.

    I thought I would have confidence in Barrow before he became the Prime Minister. Sadly, the man started wrong, so whatever confidence I would have wanted to have in him started going through the window. Today his only concern IS NOT TO SEEK JUSTICE on behalf of the Belizean people, but bribe the people with quickly concocted infrastructure projects using the people’s own, own money against them to fight to keep his corrupt UDP party in power.

    It is up to the people to reject him for trying to make fools of them by taking what is theirs, and rightly deserve, but still VOTE THE UDP OUT. We cannot put confidence in a man who asks his ministers to please stop the hustling but did nothing about it, does not give a shit about us, and only cares bout his personal bald head ego, being used to keep himself and his cronies in power. This YA CROWD HAFFU GO!!!!

  11. Really*questionmark* says:

    Nice point but had to clarify a few things you said….

    “3 – beat them to the punch in firing Penner from Cabinet
    4 – beat them to the punch by asking him to resign”

    PUP can’t fire Penner. They aren’t his boss. And LONG before Barrow asked him to resign, PUP sent him a letter stating to resign or be recalled. That’s not exactly beating them to a punch. Just being thorough and logical, based on facts.

    God Bless.

  12. Beano for all says:


    going with that, why have police, prosecutors or prisons?

    Just turn the other cheek and let them keep screwing you.

    As for me, fire them, then roast them in the prison oven; take away their money and prestige.

    They broke an oath to the people. Why should they be able to get away with this? besides being immoral, 99% Belizeans don’t get a green light to commit crime, why should they get away with it?

    @refinery & buju
    go with aldo, you are the fools that Barrow are looking for. Every cabinet member has a major scandal, some have major criminal scandals they have personally created.

    penner resigned.
    penner quit, because I stared him down.
    The Honorable penner has committed no crime, no investigation is needed.
    This disgraceful Penner signed these undated documents, unknown to me and my elves.
    The remorseful Penner has paid the price by being dismissed from cabinet and is now redeemed.
    The Honorable Penner will be fighting the recall, and UDP will back him up.
    That questionable penner is talking to the PUP.
    The Honorable Penner will be championed by Castro and the Cabinet
    The missing Penner is out of the country, looking for Eric Chang & getting medical attention.
    The disgraceful Penner will not be supported by UDP, next question….

    beat them to the punch? what a joke. it is a coverup. people say the smarter Belizeans moved to the US or Britain, and the gullible were left behind. Watch out, here comes your next sucker punch.

    Forgive them, as Jesus would do. Forgive them as they destroy, thieve and pillage the country. Forgive them because Musa and Fonseca are worse. Just keep the baby in the boiling hot bath water and see what is left. oh, I can’t make a decision, I am not sure, give them another chance. What planet are you from, are you in a mental institution in Belize, or just like Kim, a bona fide theoretical Belizean?

  13. Al Rich says:

    Breaking News!!!, there is no part of this government that is not corrupt. Let me take you to another corrupt place, look no further than the Prison system. There is a good old boy system in place up there, it makes you shudder.

    The immigration scandal is causing you to forget the missing money at the Hospital up north. Belize is a hot bed of crooked government. Under every rock that can be overturned there is something hidden.

    I am beginning to think if UDP is put out of power it will be like exchanging monkey for black dog, let the people say Amen.

  14. abraham says:

    The Belize passport is a worthless piece of paper anyway.
    It is only good to travel to Mexico or Guatemala.
    I think Penner as set up by the black powers in government who want the white man out.
    Racism is alive and well in Belize.

  15. Love says:

    The good lady in this picture was instrumental in helping to get the UDP elected. TWICE! We wonder what must be going through her mind when she see this thieving mob, raping our lovely country. Corruption have never ever in the history of this country be so rampant. Gosh…You put your good reputation on the line lady, for this bunch who now truly HAVE TO THANK YOU for your blessing.

    I wonder, if she had to do it all over again from the start, knowing what she now know, if she would have DONE SAME?

  16. history minded says:

    even if Dean Borrow resign … this means we just have another taking his place – don’t tell me you really believe in the PUP too

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