PUP Leader John Briceno showed the media nine land compensation agreements whereby friends and relatives of UDP Ministers were highly compensated by the Government of Belize. According to Briceno, in one year alone the then Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, paid out over seventy million dollars as land compensation. He says that at least three point one million dollars went to the Montero family. The documents that Briceno shared with the media show that the agreements were signed between July and August of 2011. These persons reportedly purchased the land back in 1998 but were compensated for it 13 years later at an exorbitant price.
John Briceno PUP Leader
“Yvette Montero got several acres of land six miles north of Ambergris Caye and she paid $3,080 for it. Minister Vega, the Deputy Prime Minister and approved by the Ministry of Finance agreed to compensate Yvette Montero $245,000. Miguel Montero got ten acres- again north west of San Pedro for $4,400, four acres f land four miles northwest of San Pedro for $1,760 and .13 acres of land at Privacion Enclave area in the Mountain Pine Ridge for $4,428- for those three parcels land Miguel Montero was compensated $721,000. Ismael Montero got 10.2 acres in Privacion Enclave Mountain Pine Ridge for $2,220 and he was compensated $82,352 for that parcel of land. Yvette Montero again got ten acres of land in the Privacion Enclave Mountain Pine Ridge from $2,204 and was compensated $80,000 for that land. Jaime Montero got five acres of land six miles south west of San Pedro for $2,200 and he was compensated $175,00 for that land. Alejandro Montero got ten acres in the Privacion Enclave I haven’t found the grant number for that yet but he was given $80,000 as per the agreement that we have right here. And then Alejandro Montero got another four acres north west of San Pedro for $1,760 and then got another five acres of land in the same area for $2,200 and was compensated for these two parcels of land for $395,000. The Montero family collected $1,778,352 and to add salt to injury as they say, they were given 7% interest from the date of acquisition so when you combine everything the interest was approximately $1,369,331. The Montero family have been compensated by we the taxpayers of this country a grand total of $3,147,683 dollars give or take a few dollars. I think it’s unconscionable that a person like Minister Montero could still be in the cabinet and one of the most powerful Ministers. Prime Minister needs to get rid of Montero, he needs to do something because if he doesn’t do anything then the Belizean people are going to start to say ‘maybe you are directly responsible for what has been taking place under your watch and the actions that your minister have been taking. It’s systemic.”
Briceno is calling on the Prime Minister to order an immediate investigation into the matter.