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New BTL chair says Vasquez monies will be repaid

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Business Senator Mark Lizarraga

Posted: Tuesday, December 8, 2020. 1:35 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Speaking with reporters this afternoon, new chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited, Mark Lizarraga, discussed issues related to the company and the drive to return it to the top of the telecommunications team.

On the matter of monies owed by former Chairman Nestor Vasquez, Lizarraga said arrangements have been made for him to repay what he owes, but the matter of criminal and other prosecution is still being weighed. A special audit has been conducted from the short time of Alan Slusher as interim Chairman.

Vasquez is alleged to have taken hundreds of thousands in spending funds from the corporate credit card for personal expenses.

Lizarraga cited, in the first meeting with the new Board held yesterday, a commitment to strengthening and delineating the internal audit and oversight process, making a sub-committee of the Board responsible for that process, rather than the Chairman or the Board collectively.

The new Board is committed to restoring BTL’s pre-eminence and turning around a state of affairs involving falling profits and dividends, Lizarraga said, while bringing structure and good governance to the flagship company.

The former Senator admits he was contemplating retirement from public service but could not resist the offer from Prime Minister John Briceño to take the reigns at Telemedia.

More to follow.

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