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Cablegate: Belize: Updated Bio of New Minister of Foreign

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBE #0369 1171518
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271518Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY BELIZE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 9952

UNCLAS BELIZE 000369

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR WHA/CEN - JASON MACK

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR BH
SUBJECT: BELIZE: UPDATED BIO OF NEW MINISTER OF FOREIGN
AFFAIRS AND TRADE

REF: A) BELIZE 341; B) BELIZE 270

1. (SBU) Eamon Harrison Courtenay, DOB: 11 June 1960,
married to Denise Courtenay (nee Mitchell) with two
children: Gavin Harrison and Alyson Giselle, was appointed
as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 11 APR 2006 and
re-appointed Senator on 18 APR 2006. From 2003 to August
2004 Courtenay held a cabinet position as Attorney General
and Minister of Trade. In August 2004 Courtenay joined six
other Ministers and resigned his cabinet position in protest
over the Prime Minister's support of then Minister of
Finance Ralph Fonseca (REF A). Courtenay hails from a
prominent Belizean family. He started his professional
career in Belize working in the prestigious law firm that
his grandfather, and one-time Speaker of the House, W.H.
Courtenay started. Courtenay's father, V.H. Courtenay, was
also an elected representative in the National Assembly,
Senator and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1984-1989.

2. (SBU) In February 2006, after less than a year under the
wing of Belize Bank Courtenay returned to politics as
Chairman of the new Petroleum Advisory Board to Cabinet,
where he: started re-negotiation of terms for oil
exploration in Belize; advised government to exercise a
purchase option for a ten percent equity stake in Belize's
only oil strike to date; and began re-evaluation of laws
surrounding social benefits of petroleum gains (REF B).

3. (SBU) Curriculum Vitae:

1. 1981-1984: University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of
Arts in Latin American Studies: Economics and Government.
Member, national honor and leadership society - Omicron
Delta Kappa.

2. 1984-1986: University of the West Indies, Bachelor of
Laws, Second Class Honors.

3. 1986-1988: Norman Manley Law School, Certificate of
Legal Education.

4. 1988-1999: Attorney-at-Law, W.H. Courtenay & Co.,
Attorneys-at-Law, Belize City, Belize. In 1999, Courtenay
was elevated to the status of Senior Counsel for distinction
in the practice of law.

5. 1999-2003: Ambassador (at large) for Trade and
Investment.

6. 2003-2004: Attorney General and Minister of Trade.
Appointed Senator.

7. 2004-2006: Deputy Chairman Belize Bank Ltd of BB
Holdings Belize. Chairman of Petroleum Advisory Board to
Cabinet.

4. Please address any questions to Post Biographic File
Coordinator POLOFF Brian S. DaRin, email:darinbs@state.gov;
Tel: 011-501-227-7161 ext. 205

DIETER

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