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6 years later and Johnny has still not answered accusations of corruption against him Print E-mail
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Thursday, 07 September 2017 00:00

On Wednesday of this week the PUP held Protest march and rally in Orange Walk , which is, Johnny Briceno’s backyard . Apparently they could not get enough takers from Orange Walk ,so they busted in a few persons from out of town; paid protesters, from Belize City, Cayo and as far as Dangriga, to make up numbers .The event was dubbed as an anti-corruption protest march and rally . The fact of the date being, September, 6 caught our attention right away, as it brought back memories of something that happened exactly 6 years ago on the 6, September, 2011. That event was a story about some alleged corruption against Johnny .That story broke on Wave Radio/Tv station’s Fus Thing Da Mawnin .The story was based on WIKILEAKS Cable.That WIKILEAKS cable dated back to 2007 when a US Oil company called Lagoon Resources applied for a Production Sharing Agreement. The October 2007 cable, which was classified as confidential, alleged that Lagoon Resources did everything necessary to get the PSA, including offering the government higher royalty and production sharing rates - but the PSA went instead to, quote, “a politically connected local company.” And while that is one thing, Lagoon’s people made the allegations that, “the Minister of Natural Resources accepted a bribe of USD 1.5 million from the company that was awarded the contract. Lagoon claimed that the money was routed to the Minister through the purchase of a cable television business in northern Belize.”

After the story broke on Wave Radio/Tv, Jules Vasquez’s Channel 7 caught up with Johnny Bricenio, who was minister whose name was mentioned in the cable. Johnny is now the leader of the opposition. Now we don’t know if the allegations are based on any factual information, but we can only report what was in the cable. Another thing is that we know that the Briceno family is into the Cable Television business. Below was how that interaction went between Jules Vasquez went.

Jules Vasquez

“Lagoon Resources is claiming that you accepted a bribe of 1.5 million US dollars from the company that was awarded the contract. Lagoon claims the money was routed to the Minister through the purchase of a cable television business in northern Belize. Is this allegation true?”

Hon. John Briceno”

It’s a lie. As the Wikileaks said they are all allegations and there was nothing to prove is. What the fact of the matter is that, yes, my family at that time did buy 2 cable companies and to this date they are still paying the bank and there is not a person that can come and offer any sort of proof to point out that myself or any member of my family have benefitted from any of those decisions that I did with the Ministry of Geology.”

Jules Vasquez

“You as Leader of the Opposition - this is a very serious slander against your reputation. I know that the United States Embassy did not publish it or did not wish it to be published. But it has been published - it’s out there on the internet. We know that the US State Department thinks that there was credible information...”

Hon. John Briceno

“That’s not true. If you look what the US Department said “allegations.” At no time in their cables did they say that they would have believed about the issue of the bribe of the 1.5 million dollars that was made during that time. They just made the point that we, at that time, my family bought 2 cable companies. But as I pointed out, Jules, you can check at the bank, you can check how much money we had to borrow to acquire these companies and we are still paying to this day.”

Jules Vasquez

“The fact is that we can’t check at the bank because your banking records or your family’s banking records are private.”

Hon. John Briceno

“I could take you to check it. I have absolutely no problem. I have nothing to hide.”

We don’t know if Jules was ever show those documents by Johnny but we’ve been waiting for Jules Vasquez and Channel 7’s review of those documents and sad to say some six years later we have still not heard anything about the review . It is our hope that since Johnny has been speaking out against corruption lately that we will soon be able to view that review from Channel 7 . We think it is only right for a person who is accusing others of corruption to be open and expose himself to the same type of scrutiny. Finally we say to Johnny “SHOW US THE PAPERS.” If it were not such a serious matter we would have been laughing at the fact that it was the People’s United Party, the ARCHITECTS of CORRUPTION, who were now protesting against corruption.