Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2023. 9:37 am CST.
By Horace Palacio: The controversy surrounding Andre Perez, the Minister of Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, continues to unfold as Attorney General Anthony Sylvestre confirmed that the investigation into allegations made against Perez is still ongoing.
Last month, following a request from Perez, Prime Minister Briceño granted him a leave of absence from the Cabinet, thus facilitating an uninterrupted probe into the matter. The government had subsequently released a statement indicating that, upon the conclusion of the investigation, the “Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs will advise the Prime Minister on whether there has been any actionable wrongdoing.”
The center of this uproar is a female attorney who has come forward with allegations against Perez. Details of her claims, some of which have been described as graphic, have spurred calls from various quarters for a full-fledged criminal investigation into the incidents she alleges involved the minister.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Attorney General Sylvestre declined to provide a detailed update on the proceedings, stating, “Unfortunately I will not be able to provide an update, suffice to say that it is ongoing.” He did, however, emphasize the importance of timely proceedings, saying, “We do appreciate that it has to be done in a timely manner. So, that is taken into account and it will be done within a timely manner.”
In the midst of this storm, a Cabinet statement tried to allay concerns regarding Perez’s commitment to his constituents in Belize Rural South. The statement expressed confidence that “Minister Perez remains committed to and will continue to serve the interests of his constituents.” It further urged respect for Perez’s privacy, noting the challenging times he and his family are facing, “the Cabinet respects Minister Perez’s privacy as he and his family work through this difficult situation.”
As the country awaits the results of the investigation, many are left wondering about the political and legal ramifications this might have, not just for Perez, but for the current government as well.
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