Screen_Shot_2014-02-18_at_7.58.09_PMCorruption within the UDP administration has been taking over the news over the last months. And at the foot of the immigration scandal that broke at the start of the year and the Belize Airport Authority cheque scandal with Edmund Castro, there is apparently another looming scandal about to hit the already battered image of the PM’s administration.

 

Reports reaching our news room are that three persons have been fired from the Ministry of Natural Resources. They are Deputy Registrar of Lands Barony Hernandez, Deputy Commissioner of Lands Nestor Hernandez and National Estate Officer Darleen Padron. The tree high scale officers have, as we were reliably informed, been fired under orders of the Prime Minster himself. We understand that the decision was announced during a recent Cabinet meeting.

 

Barony Hernandez, Nestor Hernandez and Darleen Padron were all appointed by Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega when he was elected into office. Furthermore, Barony and Nestor Hernandez are both Vega’s relatives; to be exact they are his nephews.

 

The details into the reason behind the firing are still sketchy but it may be part of the Prime Minister’s efforts to clean house, especially as he had himself admitted that the Ministry of Natural Resources was another hot bed of corruption in an address he made in the US last year. For reference here is what the P.M stated back then.

 

Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize


“I believe that the Lands Department unfortunately is another hotbed of corruption, the administration has tried to do something about the officers who through dishonesty rather than incompetence or probably in some instances it is a combination of both end up in a situation where.  I was down in the village of Santa Familial last weekend that village if part of the constituency.”

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration has been riddled with scandals and in recent interviews he has been unusually candid about the situation saying he was quote, “very worried indeed” and that, “there is no doubt at all in my mind that the scandals have threatened to swamp us, they have threatened to cause us to come undone and naturally that is a source of great regret because to some extent, it is self-inflicted”.

 

We will continue to follow this story as it unfolds.

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