Purported Land Scheme Uncovered Amidst Definitive Agreement Debate
The debate over and findings with the Definitive Agreement continues unabated. Today’s House Meeting saw the two sides argue on where the blame should lie, as well as accusations and allegations of wrongdoings. Amid the sparks that flew across the floor, came the revelation of a land scheme purportedly related to the Port of Magical. According to the Prime Minister, on November 4, six days before the 2020 elections, seventeen land titles were issued to individuals and companies. Those parcels of land totaled some eight hundred and fifty acres, and was reportedly sold for one hundred and seventeen thousand nine hundred and ninety three dollars. The suspicion steps in when those very same parcels were transferred to Portico Enterprises shortly after the titles were issued. Love News understands that in one particular case, one parcel of the land was purchased for thirty-three thousand dollars, and later sold for fifteen thousand dollars. According to Prime Minister Briceno, his administration has gathered the documented proof of these titles, and the subsequent transfers.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “The Leader of the Opposition for the past few days has been doing everything possible to keep this issue alive in the media and his antics as we would say in Spanish “No son piasadas”. Here today in this honorable house we will now set the record straight for the Belizean people and we will show the deception and the hypocrisy of the Leader of the Opposition. With your question. Just check this out, talking about puppet on a string. Last July the beleaguered Leader of the Opposition, Madam Speaker and let me quote ‘Will the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Investment please tell this honorable house what he’s doing to find solutions to the problems that are stalling the Waterloo port project proposal which if approved will bring tremendous economic development for Belize.” Now he comes back here to ask my ministry why my ministry is recommending the Portico Definitive Agreement for the Cabinet approval and related legislation. It’s so obvious, it’s patently obvious what this man is doing. He is singing or he’s rapping for his supper and like -“
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Madam Speaker on a point of order. Madam Speaker on a point of order.”
Speaker of the House: “Prime Minister I must hear -“
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Big up yourself man. Man up yourself.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “It’s a deception. There is only on signed agreement between the Government of Belize and Portico Enterprise Limited. That is an agreement that was signed by the United Democratic Party Government in October of 2020 before the national elections in November.”
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “Madam Speaker on a point of order Madam Speaker that is a lie ! That is a lie ! The government did not sign that.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Listen to this very carefully Madam Speaker. An agreement that was drafted by Mr.David Morales the law partner of who ?The Chairman of the United Democratic Party one Michael Peyrefitte.”
Moses “Shyne” Barrow, Leader of the Opposition: “That is your cousin.”
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “And ? He’s doing his work. He was hired to do a job but now what did Michael Peyrefitte who was a minister in government collected to have a definitive agreement for Portico that now you are condemning. So what are you going to kick him out as chairman ? Are you going to kick him out as chairman of the party? That is what you need to answer but you don’t have the – he can’t do it just like how he wants to get rid of John Saldivar now he has to hug him up. Madam Speaker to point out to bring the truth that how his chairman knew nothing about this definitive agreement here is an email where he said on June the first of 2020 where David Morales wrote to the Minister, the AG who was the Attorney General at that time, he said “Good day Minister. I trust you have been keeping safe. I have been instructed by Mr.David Gegg to forward the attached document.” the same definitive agreement that he claims he doesn’t know you know ? Same definitive agreement. We have the emails. “We will be grateful for you to acknowledge receipt of this email. Have a good evening. Kind regards David S. Morales.” the same law partner. But yet they’re going to pontificate and say that they knew nothing about this.”
Adding to the land map that Prime Minister Briceno showed in his presentation, he also listed several of the recipients of the lands that were later transferred to Portico Enterprises Limited.
Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “He needs to ask his colleague oh he’s not here the Honorable Member from Corozal North who he has sitting beside him. How is it that around this same time when they’re fixing up the definitive agreement because you know it’s a package you know, it’s a package not just the definitive agreement of course they don’t know nothing about it. How come it’s around this same time when this agreement will be signed, an agreement they say they knew nothing about that his colleague the Minister Responsible for Lands allowed the following: I have at least seventeen titles that were issued. The 4th of November 2020, as I said what did he referred to them ? A rogue government ? The UDP rogue government ? They sold 50.1 acres of sea front to one Key Star Limited for $33,193 and twenty five cents too you know ? They collected the twenty five cents. But we have to give the whole story so that then you can’t go out there pontificating as if saying that you don’t know well I’m letting you know so that then you can stop pontificating. So Madam Speaker see all of this is a package because the definitive agreement is useless without land. All of these lands 4th of November, 4th of November, 4th of November, 4th of November every single one of them see ? All of them if you want I could give you copies and then you can ask your Deputy Leader the Minister of Natural Resources the Honorable Member from Corozal North if he took this to Cabinet and asked if he could sign it because Erwin Contreras can’t sign definitive agreement before it goes to Cabinet but then the Honorable Member from Corozal North can sign these things on the 4th of November – because it’s a package. Listen to me they on the 4th of November signed over 850 acres for $117,993. And guess what a few months later guess who bought the land ? Portico. It’s a package Madam Speaker. It’s a scam from day one.”
Some of the other recipients are Nyne Enterprises and Andrew Aveline Bennett, both of a Los Lagos address; Building Blocks Limited, Build Zone Limited, Kill Switch Limited, Alkaline Limited, Key Star Limited, Vision Project Limited – all bearing the address of 2236 Albert Hoy Avenue in Belize City. The others are Paula Nadine Vasquez, Dain Gibson – both of a Marage Street address in Belize City. All parcels of land consisted of at least fifty acres.