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IAA says to give Jaen a chance

Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017. 8:38 a.m. CST.

By BBN Staff: International Airport Alliance Belize Limited has spoken in defense of its principal, Jorge Abraham Jaen, saying that the company gave him a chance despite questionable activities in his past and that Belizeans should too.

The IAA issued a statement, following the dissemination of documents showing notable activities in Jaen’s past including accusations of his making false representations to obtain a car loan; his connection to Anthony Bosch, a man convicted of illegally injecting athletes in the United States with steroids; and his 2006 arrest on charges of fraud, and previous convictions for conspiracy to commit extortion and voter fraud.

“International Airport Alliance is committed and strongly believes in the Ambergris Caye Airport project for which it has diligently worked on for over 14 months, and wants to assure the Citizens of Belize that we remain fully confident and transparent that our Company will not only fulfill its professional obligations but will also do it in a way that Belize will be proud of,” the IAA said.

Notably, IAA’s parent company, International Airport Alliance LLC, registered in Florida, USA, is owned and managed by Jaen and one “John Smith”. The company was only registered a year ago, and with no website and no record of any of it previously undertaken projects, the company has come under much scrutiny itself.

Local media houses have noted that Jaen has no experience in airport development prior to signing the agreement to construct the Efrain Guerrero International Airport in Northern Sap Pedro, which has an estimated project value of US$100 million.

The situation is already being compared to the Puerto Azul project, which saw investors scammed out of millions of dollars, and resulted in several arrests. A notable comparison between the two projects is the backing of ministers Tourism Minister Manuel Heredia and Economic Development Minister Erwin Contreras.

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