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Attorney at center of Andre Perez investigation speaks out, says she feels “threatened” by public comments

Posted: Saturday, October 28, 2023. 7:41 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: This week the Andre Perez affair that suddenly exploded in August was thrust back into the public eye after statements by the persons at its center.

The suspended Government Minister and area representative for Belize Rural South told Channel 5 News that he expects to be welcomed back to Cabinet shortly, though added that it was at the discretion of the Prime Minister, and insisted that his story had not changed and that he was the victim of alleged extortion and blackmail.

Those comments prompted a response from his accuser, whom we have previously not named as she has not, to our knowledge, made a formal complaint to Police on charges of sexual assault. She spoke to Channel 7 News on Thursday, indicating that she has not been contacted by anyone from the Government for her side of the story and so dismisses the “legal review” being conducted by the Attorney General as “a sham…one-sided so-called investigation or legal review if there even is one.” She continued that she believes that without any input from her, that review puts her in a bad light, but she has the right to respond.

According to the accuser, the Prime Minister’s public commentary has focused on insisting that the matter between her and Perez is personal, and that the explicit photographs and messages in support of her story should not have been shared. To her, that is clearly downplaying “predatory behavior” by Perez, and more so than that, a threat that she will face criminal charges, presumably under the Cyber Crime Act, for said distribution. But she denies sharing the images and insists that she is being bullied “at the highest levels… They have stolen my peace of mind and my livelihood and my life.”

The accuser further paints the Prime Minister as “the biggest enabler of gender-based violence in Belize.” To support that claim, she points out that she spoke with chairman of the constituency’s committee who promised a meeting that has not panned out. Next, she went to party chairman Henry Charles Usher, but he too has not followed up. She took it to the Prime Minister himself as party leader as previously detailed and to Minister of Human Development, Families and Indigenous People’s Affairs Dolores Balderamos Garcia, who was the only one of the four to agree to a further meeting – only for plans to fall through when the accuser wanted to bring a fellow attorney to represent her at the meeting, which the Minister refused. Of the four, she is most disappointed in the Prime Minister who she says has yet to personally publicly condemn Perez’s alleged actions.

As for Perez, he told Channel 5 News that he is in no hurry to return to Cabinet and his Ministerial duties and that on the islands it has been “much ado about nothing” – residents are more concerned about local issues such as the building of a new hospital, infrastructure with both islands’ high schools and streets, and crime. He will leave any legal action either way, he added, to his attorneys.

 

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