So what triggered Retreage’s sudden retreat and the need for PM Barrow to scramble to fix re-appointments in Cabinet? Is the Ministry of Natural Resources haunted by the ghost of Gaspar Vega that no one can hold the Ministry for too long?


Reports up to late yesterday and this morning were that Retreage has been facing duress to vacate office. That pressure, according to the strong rumors, was on the Attorney General because of the purging she was doing at the Ministry of Natural Resources following the mess left behind by Vega. Retreage, we were told, even faced a serious threat to her safety and security in the course of executing her powers as the Minister of Natural Resources. The most recent issue is that of pursuing legal action against Andre Vega, the son of the former Lands Minister, and UDP attorney Sharon Pitts, for collecting $400,000 each as compensation for land which they had bought for a pittance, and which was found to be privately-owned.


Today Retreage addressed the issue squarely, and while she admitted to receiving at least one threat, she claimed it is not the reason she is leaving.


Screen_Shot_2016-12-13_at_8.04.06_PMAttorney General Vanessa Retreage – Attorney General Ministry


“Yes, about a month ago I received an email indicating that there was some payment of money to do harm to me, not specifically refereeing to me but a generalize e-mail, I reported it to the police and for that period of time they tightened security until they could have determined whether or not the treat was real or was just spam, they concluded their investigation along with CITO, they concluded that investigation and it was spam, it came from a server in the United States that had been hacked by an individual so that is the extent of any treat or lack that I received and that was about six week ago, if that had an effect I would have left then but no it is really as a result of personal obligation.”


But the rumours persist that Retreage faced pressure to exit the Ministry. While today she addressed it as a side issue, she also commented on her tenure as a one-year Lands Minister.


Attorney General Vanessa Retreage – Attorney General Ministry


“I read with amazement some of the post on Facebook and their screen shooting and sending to me because anybody who knows me knows that I do not have Facebook about all the reasons why I am resigning, not resigning but time is up, sadly it is only because time is up and I can’t confirm any of the juicy gossip that has been going around so I won’t say much on that score but I only want to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the staff at the Attorney’s General ministry as well as the staff at the ministry of natural resources, there has been much said all the time about the performance of those staff members especially at the natural resources ministry but the staff there is competent and able to perform their functions and has express their willingness and has demonstrated that willingness to do so, change is always tough and they have demonstrated that commitment changing the way that business is done and I am eternally grateful that they have supported me in everything even at times when it created significant pressure on them they performed under great pressure, I don’t have much to say except thank you to the Belizean people, my family who had been extremely supportive and I look forward to serving my country in other ways, I remain committed to this UDP administration and will provide any support I can whenever I can to this UDP administration and I am confident that this administration wills see the country through with this struggling times that we are having.”

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