June 21, 2010 — School of Law — The Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, LL.M. ’81, will be visiting his alma mater - the University of Miami School of Law - on June 25. He will receive a V.I.P. tour of the University’s Coral Gables campus and meet with Provost Thomas LeBlanc and Dean Patricia D. White.
Born in Belize City, Barrow received two degrees from the University of Miami – an LL.M. degree in Common Law from UM Law and an M.A. in International Relations. He became a partner at a Belizean law firm in 1977, and two years later he established his own practice.
The nation of Belize attained independence from the British in 1981, and Barrow entered politics two years later when he was elected to the Belize City council. He broke into the national political scene in 1994, running as a candidate under the United Democratic Party (UDP) banner during parliamentary elections. Barrow won the election and the attention of Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel (1984-1989), who appointed the 33-year-old attorney to his executive cabinet as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In 1993, Barrow was again appointed to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs during Esquivel's second term in office (1993-1998). In addition, Barrow also served as Deputy Prime Minister.
In April of 2005, when Belize experienced strikes, demonstrations, and protests nationally over tax increases and government corruption, Barrow became the champion of the protesters, making public statements on their behalf and supporting their acts of civil disobedience. With this support Barrow won a landslide electoral victory in 2008, capturing 56.6% of the vote to become Belize’s first black Prime Minister.
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