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Jan 23, 2014

Chamber of Commerce say the Castro cheques are clear examples of corruption

Kay Menzies

In various sectors, there is open concern that the government has not signed to an OAS anti-corruption convention called the MESICIC which stands for the Mechanism for Follow-Up on the Implementation of Inter-American Convention against Corruption. And with so many cases of corruption rearing its ugly head, the Chamber took umbrage to thousands of dollars being paid out in cheques on behalf or to Minister of State Edmond Castro. The Chamber says that it cannot support the notion that government ministers use statutory bodies as their personal business. And according to the Chamber, this is precisely why it supports the restructuring of the PAC and the appointment of the thirteenth senator.


Kay Menzies, President, Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

“This backs up our constant request for the PAC Committee to be reformed and it supports our view that the thirteenth senator needs to be appointed. Reason being that this is public funds. The Airport Authority gets a different source of funds than from the general public, but ultimately it is the public purse. These entities are owned by the government of Belize which in turn belong to the people of Belize. To be handing out monies left, right and center, it is absolutely inappropriate behavior. The prime minister has conceded that it has occurred—we don’t know on how many occasions—but any action like that is highly improper and speaks to the need for better oversight of our public finances. So basically what occurred there has basically supported our argument for a better PAC.”


Duane Moody

“But from what the Prime Minister said, he is saying that it is distasteful, but not corruption….that the authority, the board, can do that because they authorized it, they approved that the monies be given to Minister Castro; so it is not corruption.


Kay Menzies

“The definition of corruption…I will refer you to any number of websites, but one in particular is Transparency International—and I’ll leave that to you at Channel Five to research—in terms of corruption doesn’t require a law to be broken, if you have lawmakers. What it indicates is that there is a need for legal cover in an action like that. It is absolutely improper is the problem. That behavior is improper—it was improper of the board and it is improper of Minister Castro. There is on the board side a phrase called fiduciary duty. That board has a responsibility to the funding of the authority and it should have been a lot more careful than it was.”


So we did our research and found the definition of corruption. And Transparency International defines corruption as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone who depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.”

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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1 Response for “Chamber of Commerce say the Castro cheques are clear examples of corruption”

  1. Meandi says:

    What else should be expected from these government? Look at SS, how many cronies have benefited from write-offs? How many from DFC benefited – several sons and daughters of ministers got away without paying. How about BAHA? Minister of Agric dips his hands in here. BAHA sponsors Ministers events. Many cronies owe BAHA for services rendered and many get these increasing arrears just written off.

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