Clock Ticking on Briceno to prove he did not take bribe Print E-mail
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Thursday, 29 September 2011 00:00

Johnny BricenoOn September 6th, the leader of the opposition told Jules Vasquez in an interview for 7News that he could take him (Jules) to the bank to prove that his family had purchased two cable companies with money which had been borrowed from a banking institution. Briceno had volunteered this after allegations surfaced that he was paid a 3 million dollar bribe by an oil exploration company.

It’s been 23 days since the allegations were made through wikileak cables from the U.S. Embassy in Belize to the U.S. state department and Briceno has still been unable to provide that proof. This has led to wide-scale speculation that maybe the leader of the opposition does not have the proof to back up how it was that he ended up owning two cable companies in the north.

The allegations have picked up legs after a series of coincidences were pointed out during the time when Briceno and his family acquired the cable companies. Those coincidences are as follows: the petroleum exploration company Lagoon had made allegations that Briceno had received a U.S. 1.5 million dollar bribe from a company for it to be given an exploration concession which Lagoon had applied for. The bribe according to Lagoon was through two cable companies valued at 3 million Belize dollars. There is a coincidence that at the time of the allegation, a principal of the competing company who was awarded the bid had purchased a cable company in the north and somehow transferred it over to Briceno. 

Briceno’s defence to the allegation is that his family had in fact paid for the company and that he could prove it. Well the entire nation has been waiting with baited breath for the past 23 days for the proof to be supplied but so far he’s been unable to do so. Being the leader of the opposition and a man who dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Belize, it is incumbent upon Briceno to provide the proof. Any businessmen would be at no trouble to go to their financial institution and get that information within 24 hours. That however is dependent on whether or not the proof actually exists. With 23 days having passed there are doubts that Briceno is able to access the information necessary in order to clear his name from this most recent accusation.