BELIZE CITY, Tues. Oct. 8, 2019– In late August at the sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in his capacity as Minister of Finance, introduced a motion to write off the $40,000-plus student loan of Joshua Perdomo, the son of Cabinet Secretary, Carlos Perdomo.
At the House meeting last Friday, the motion got its third reading and was passed when a division of the House voted on it.
The Joshua Perdomo student loan write-off sparked severe criticism from the public, because, while the Prime Minister prefaced the loan motion by saying that for years, Joshua Perdomo could not be located for him to pay his loan, KREM News easily located Perdomo, through an internet search.
Perdomo was tracked to Texas, where he had gone to study and is now working in forensics, after getting a Master’s Degree in Forensic Genetics from the University of North Texas at the expense of Belizean taxpayers.
Perdomo did not honor the three-year bond that he had signed with the Government of Belize, and he never returned to the country after he went on study leave from his government job.
Prime Minister Barrow also told the House that the loan had become “statute-barred,” meaning that Perdomo could not be legally forced to repay the loan, because too much time had passed.
That, however, may not be true, as the Member for Caribbean Shores, Hon. Kareem Musa, pointed out to the House, and today, the People’s United Party’s Belize Youth Movement (BYM) issued a press release calling on Belizean youth to demand that the government write off all of their student loans.
“In light of these recent actions by the Prime Minister and his party, the Belize Youth Movement (BYM) is making a call to all the Belizean youth to rise up and demand that their student loans be also written off,” said the opening paragraph of the BYM press release.
The release continued: “Under the UDP, we live in a Belize that is biased; we live in a country that is not fair, and in one where only those select cronies obtain the opportunities that should be present for all our young brothers and sisters.”
“The Belize Youth Movement is outraged at the actions taken by Prime Minister Dean Barrow and members of his UDP party at last Friday’s House Meeting, as they all voted to write off the $40,000.00 loan to Joshua Perdomo,” the release further stated.
The BYM press release ended saying, “As a youth-centered organization, it is utterly despicable that all members of the government voted to forgive the loan, but none of them has ever presented a single solution that would benefit all students.
“Let us all come together and demand better from those we elected! Let us demand that what is good for them, is also good for everyone.”
“Better must come from those we elect,” the release said.