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Honourable

Juan Antonio Briceño
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
31 January 2016
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Colville Young
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
Deputy Cordel Hyde
Preceded by Francis Fonseca
Member of the Belize House of Representatives for Orange Walk Central
Assumed office
30 June 1993
Preceded by Leopoldo Briceño
Personal details
Born
Juan Antonio Briceño

17 July 1960 (1960-07-17) (age 60)
Orange Walk Town, British Honduras
(now Belize)
Political party People's United Party
Residence Orange Walk Town, Belize
Alma mater St. John's College
University of Texas

Juan Antonio Briceño, commonly known as Johnny Briceño or John Briceño (born 17 July 1960, Orange Walk Town, British Honduras (now Belize), is a Belizean Politician who is currently serving as Leader of the Opposition (Belize) and Leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) since 8 February 2016. He served in those two positions previously from 30 March 2008 to 2 November 2011. He was also Deputy prime minister of Belize from 28 August 1998 to 8 February 2008.

Early life and education

Johnny Briceño was born on 17 July 1960 in Orange Walk Town in the then British Honduras. He attended Elementary school at 7 on 1 January 1967 and graduated in November 1973. He received the Most Competent award and Most outstanding in English award on Graduation day. He then went on to Secondary school in 1974 and remained there until 1977. He archived the 7 awards prior to Graduation which sparked many. After Graduation, Briceño’s Family moved to Belize City, where he enrolled at St. John College for his Junior college education. He first entered College on 2 January 1977 at the age of 17 and graduated form there, two years later in December 1979. During his Graduation Award Ceremony, Briceño was awarded the “Most Contributive Student Award” for contributing much during his two-year tenure in St. John College. Shortly after his graduation, Briceño’s parents suggested that he should begin his university education abroad in the United States and so he taled that move. In January 1980, Briceño flew from British Honduras all the way to Texas in the United States. He entered the University of Texas at Austin that month and was educated there for five years until 1985. During his time in Texas, Briceño manage to purchase a small house to live. His parents would often visit him there and check on his progress. Briceño graduated form the University in December 1985 and was awarded “Most Compassionate Award” for the prominent role he played in showing unlimited compassion to his peers and people around him. He also manage to earn a Bachelor's degree in Business Managment in 1985. His other professional studies include Certificate courses at the Harvard School of Government at the University of Texas.

Prior to his return in January 1986, Briceño discovered that his home land has officially become Independent. He and his Brother started a small Business selling Fuel and operating a Service station in his home town of Orange Walk Town. Today the Business has expanded to several Service stations countrywide.

As the Partnership grew, he and his Brother branded our and opened a Cable company in Orange Walk Town. Centaur Communications has successfully increased its subscriptions and acquired several other Cable companies in its expansion. Centaur is today one of the largest Internet providers. The Company also has a Local television channel and broadcasts Radio regionally.

Career

During his Business years, Briceño took an Interest in Politics too. He indicated to his Brother that he wanted to slowly be involved in the Affairs of the Nation. With Permission, he left his Business and joined the People’s United Party (PUP) in December 1992. Shortly after, he submitted his Nomination to contest the PUP Standard-Bareer Convention (meeting) In Orange Walk Central constituency. He won unapposed and prepared himself to face the United Democratic Party (UDP) Candidate in that area for the 1993 Belizean general election who was also a newcomer similar to Briceño. Briceño however did not allow that to bother him. With a determined Campaign siting the accomplishments of his Party such as keeping British forces in Belize and it not falling pray to Guatemalan incursions. He secured the seat overwhelming and defeated his Opponent by 1000 votes. The PUP however loss the General election narrowly to the UDP and was sent into opposition. Newly appointed Leader of the Opposition, George Cadle Price Formed his Shadow cabinet Shortly, appointing Briceño as Shadow Minister of Environment. He served in that position from 2 July 1993 to 1994. As Shadow Minister, Briceño often argued with the Environmental Minister on issues such as the Development of Regional initiatives, environmental protection and Sustainable management. Soon the 1993-94 Belizean municipal elections came and Briceño ran in the Municipal elections in the Orange Walk Town. After showing his Muscle at several Election rallies countrywide, campaigning for the People he won the Town Council and served as a Member of the Town Council for two terms from 1 March 1994 to 2001.

In 1994, the outgoing Co-Chairman of the PUP resigned. This triggered Price to call a National Convention. Briceño was the only person who submitted his Application to contest the Position, thus winning Unopposed. As Co-Chairman, he organised various events and Conventions (meetings) for the Party including the 1996 People’s United Party (Belize) leadership election and convention. In addition, co-charing the National Party Council. The time came again for Belizeans to head to the polls this time in another Municipal election on 18 March 1996 and 11 March 1997 respectively. Briceño’s Consistency criticised the Election as a “lame-duck”, calling for the Government to scrap its deal. The Government persisted and went on with its pledge of Free and fair elections. Briceño stood as a Candidate in both votes and Campaigned heavily in different parts of Orange Walk Town, citing his accomplishments such as the modernisation of the Orange Walk District, ensuring every Resident gets a piece of land and the one Child one Laptop Program Which was a Success. After a determined Campaign, he was re-elected as Member for Orange Walk Town handsomely both times. He also assisted the PUP with winning the Elections overall. He never stopped delivering for his People even after the Election and fulfilled most of his Campaign promises. On 1 October 1996, Price announced his Resignation from the Party Leadership after being at the helm for 46 years. A Leadership convention was the called to be held on 10 November 1996 and Nominations opened its doors in October 1996 and three key Positions were up for grabs. Briceño submitted his Application to contest for First Deputy Leader and surprisingly, won Unopposed for a second Time. He became a the youngest Belizean ever to become Deputy Leader of the PUP. Briceño served as First Deputy Leader from 10 November 1996 to 30 March 2008. The 1998 Belizean general election was the first test for the PUP who sought to replace the Government which was perceived by Briceño as Incompetent, Incapable of governing and riddled with Corruption. Briceño capitalised the ruling UDP’s broken Promises as a “show of excuse on the Belizean People” and greatly assisted his Party manifesto which he claimed would “Set Belize Free”. He added that the creed and Values of the Country must be respected at all Cost and that the Government has disrespected it. Briceño was endorsed again in Orange Walk Central and went on the face UDP Candidate, Miguel Urbina, who was a relatively unknown in that Area. Stressing on its Manifesto Promises which was part of his Campaign. He told Belizeans to wake up to the madness that this Government is doing, worse that any other Government in the History of Belize. Briceño and the PUP emerged victorious with 26 seats and 59.6% of the Vote ending the UDP’s Rule.

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