La Inmaculada Credit Union holds special general meeting

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Updated: August 24, 2015

The much anticipated meeting of the membership of the La Inmaculada Credit Union took place on Saturday. The board of directors was forced to call the special general meeting after over one thousand members signed a petition demanding answers.

Arturo Cantún reporting…

Saturday’s meeting was highly anticipated and attended by over 1,000 member owners of the institution. As the meeting got underway, the group of members that had petitioned for the special general meeting objected when a member of the board started to read the same statement read and already broadcasted on the media on Wednesday night by President, Ena Martinez. But after general consensus, this was allowed. While the media was allowed into the premises where the meeting was held we were not allowed to record audio or video. From the podium members of the board Anna McLaughlin read a statement and provided a few more details that the ongoing investigation has revealed; there was no change of position by the board. Their thirteen member body maintains that former GM Yolanda Gomez is responsible for a list of wrongdoings, among them several of them that can be considered criminal offences. At the end of the statement president of the board Ena Martinez declared that while the session was not to make any financial report she can say that for the past fiscal year the credit union saw a net profit of $3.34 million Belize dollars or 15% gain compared to last year. Immediately after the floor was opened for questions or concerns from members but we must note that the session was highly controlled by the moderator and got to the extent where the open microphone was turned off at least one time when a member started addressing the gathering. As more members raised concerns that questioned the doing of Gomez and the board of directors along with its overseeing committees long time member Belis Carballo Sr. pointed out that it was best for the matter to be left ino the hands of the court of law to review the evidence when the investigation is completed. It was at this point that former GM Yolanda Gomez stood in an attempt to address the board and Carballo called for the meeting to be adjourned, thus the moderator immediately suspended the special general meeting not allowing Gomez and a number of other members to ask more questions or share their concerns. Members started to leave the meeting and the board left the head table. We managed to speak with the president Ena Martinez as she left.

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“We have already said what we have to say and that is all we can say.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

There were strong allegations against a woman that has been there for so many years do you have any proof to show the members?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Of course we will very soon we will do so.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

How long are we talking? The members have been waiting for months.

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

Listen to me it is not up to us, it is up to the special investigator who has not finalized nor has the central bank. We have said what we can say and that is final for the moment.”

Reporter

“Ms. Ena, why was the meeting suspended when we had many other people in line waiting for some questions?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Well absolutely we heard that there was an adjournment and anybody could have adjourned a meeting and that was done and we have to respect that.”

Reporter

One of the board members mentioned that the audit goes back to 2012; are you as board members challenging the audit that the Castillo’s and sons did at those times?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Well absolutely to a certain extent. What can happen? This is a special investigation that has been done on several issues.

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

Now we understand that this dates back to 2012 where was the board all this time in supervising he work of the administration?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“We have already answered that question.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

That was not recorded. For the sake of the media and the members who were not present answer that question.

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“We asked for a scope of 2012 to 2015 and that’s why we stuck to that. It could easily be that there is more in years back that we don’t even know of because we were not in there.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

How often do you guys check out the accountings of the institution?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Well we receive our financials and we review them.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

How often?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Well that is every year.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

 So you did not notice last year and the year before?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“How can we go into details? The financial statements say what is there.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

 When did you notice this, how did you notice that something wrong was happening at the credit union.

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“We cannot comment to that, we said it.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

But you said 2012.

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Yes we said 2012 that is what the scope is. That is what we asked for it’s as simple as that. We could have gone and done further but we just decided to limit it to 2012-2015.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

Is the board taking any responsibility?

Ena Martinez, President of LICU

“Of course not we don’t work at the credit union, we supervise. We had a lot of trust and confidence in Mrs. Gomez and being that she received a very handsome salary we believed that it is her duty to ensure that she does her work because we don’t work there, we don’t micromanage.”

Reporter

Can we expect that other persons will also be terminated?

Ena Martinez, President, LICU

“We are finished, we have answered.”

Arturo Cantun, Love FM News

And with that the board of directors left and the members now await for the conclusion of the special financial investigation that is underway.