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P.M. Barrow: “US authorities disrespected Belize”

Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019. 11:02 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Prime Minister Dean Barrow is upset with United States authorities, saying that they did not act in accordance with international standards for relations between nations during their detention of Deputy Tax Service Director Reynaldo Verde.

Verde was detained on September 7 while he was on a connecting flight back to Belize, returning from a tax workshop in Brussels. Barrow said that his complaint does not stem from his detention but rather how the authorities handled the detention.

“For my purposes, I am not going to get into the merits or otherwise about the charges against Mr. Verde, but I do complain bitterly about the fact the Government of Belize and therefore, Mr. Verde, we both were disrespected by this failure refusal in the part of the US authorities to allow our consular personnel to have access to Mr. Verde,” Barrow said.

He explained that Belizean Consular personnel made attempts to visit Verde but were denied the opportunity. They also requested information as to the grounds for Verde’s detention but were not given any information until federal agents made a public statement regarding Verde’s detention. He noted that the consular personnel were allowed to speak with Verde, via telephone, the week after he had been detained on charges of extortion, an accusation made by the principals of a real estate development in the Corozal District known as Punta Alegre.

Verde is currently being held at a federal detention facility in Warsaw, Virginia; however, he will stand trial in the Southern District of California.


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