Former Belize Minister Faces Investigation for Alleged Maladministration
Former Minister of Economic Development, Investment and Trade, Erwin Contreras, will be investigated for what the Office of the Ombudsman has coined as alleged maladministration. The Ombudsman confirmed the opening of the investigation via a letter sent to the CEO for Port of Belize, Ted Peralta. Peralta had been clamoring for an investigation, and had written to the Ombudsman on three occasions. A response was sent to Peralta on August 11, indicating that the decision to launch an investigation is not on Peralta’s persistence, but rather, on the circumstances found to be injuries caused on public interest. A portion of the letter notes that, ‘the Ombudsman in his absolute discretion, pursuant to Section 15 of the Ombudsman Act, and under advisement, has so determined that, pursuant to Section 12, there is reasonable cause to believe that the alleged maladministration has caused injury to the public interest. Therefore, the Ombudsman, pursuant to Section 13 of the Ombudsman Act, will proceed, not based on your Complaint, to investigate this matter on his own initiative.’ The investigation will look into Contreras’ move to unilaterally sign the Definitive Agreement with Portico Enterprises.