In our last segment we showed you how Marco Tulio Mendez escaped the media at his arraignment yesterday, but for the PUP there’s no escaping the
political consequences that are sure to ensue in the coming weeks or months. What will those consequences be? If any?
We got a reaction from his fellow politician and close friend John Briceno. He was not prepared to make any in-depth statements, but he did address it
when the question was asked:
Hon. John Briceno - Orange Walk Central Area Representative
"These in the courts and it's something the courts will have to deal with. But yes, I can tell you that Marco Tulio is my friend, he's my colleague. We
need to think about the human element about this. We need to think that here is a family man, the entire Mendez family, that they are going through a
trauma. It is a very difficult time for them and I think all of us, including you journalists should also be praying for them. Praying for Dr. Mendez,
praying for the children and praying for the entire family. Hopefully some day soon that what ever troubles that they have, what ever hurts that they have
that they can mend, that they can heal.”
But, the public pressure is building, and though the Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca has told the media that Mendez does not want to resign at that
time, at some point in the future, that may change.
The man who would be placed on the ballots for the PUP if a bye-election was called right now is the new standard bearer for Orange Walk East, Josue
Carballo. So, is he ready if that should happen? That’s what we asked him today. He told us that he doesn’t think that the child molestation
allegations against Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez will hurt his support from the voters in such a scenario:
Josue Carballo - Standard Bearer, Orange Walk East
"When ever one offers himself as a candidate, especially for this great People's United Party, you have to be ready anytime. A general election can be
called within a month or so, so we have to be prepared and that's what we came in here for. Our people know that we must continue the work of the
party. Officially I will definitely continuing working with the people of the east."
"He is presumed to be innocent but is there not fear that persons in east will take offence to the PUP and just punish you just because of this
"I am my own person, my track record always show that I've working independently, working for the area, working for years. I think that is what people
are looking for. Everything I go out I have continued my campaign, going out thanking the people of the east who came out to the convention. I
personally have been out there, out reaching to them and our talk is centred around work."
Hon. John Briceno
"The party decided that we need to find a new standard bearer. We had a convention about 2 weeks and a half ago in Orange Walk east. Over 2,150 people
came out to vote for a new standard bearer in record time, less than a month of campaigning, during the Christmas and New Years season. The UDP was
campaigning for six months and they spent an obscene amount of money to try to get 2,300 people to vote. Us, in less than a month, with very little
money, 2,150 people came out to vote."
"How would you answer to those who believe that, throughout speaking with us this time, you've deflected away from the issue at hand? Because
politically it's something that everyone want to distance themselves from."
"It's in the courts and we must respect the judiciary, that's why we do have a separate and independent body in that aspect.”
But, more urgently is the impending Municipal Elections which will take place on March 4, and the PUP Town Council, led by Mayor Kevin Bernard is up
Today, John Briceno told the media that the voters of Orange Walk Town will look at the track record of incumbent Councillors:
Hon. John Briceno
"The people or Orange Walk Town, they know that they have a great mayor by Kevin Bernard and that we have 6 excellent candidates that are vying to
represent the people or Orange Walk Town.”
We’ll follow closely to see how the charging of these politicians affect the political atmosphere in Orange Walk.