By Benjamin Flowers
Attorney at Law, Vanessa Retreage made Belizean history this week, when she became the country’s first female Attorney General.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced the appointment on Monday at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel, among the other ministerial appointments for cabinet. She was sworn in later that day, by the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young in Belmopan and takes over from former AG, Wilfred Elrington.
Retreage, born and raised in Belize City, has her academic and professional history rooted in Belize. She attended Saint Catherine’s Academy and later St. John’s Junior College. Having moved on to the University of the West Indies and finally Norman Manley Law School, graduating in 2006, she returned to Belize to work in private legal practice.
She worked at the offices of Glenn D. Godfrey & Co. before joining the firm of W H Courtenay & Co. where she worked under the guidance of Mr. Derek Courtenay S.C. until August of 2012.
In 2012 she established the firm Reyes Retreage LLP, with long-time friend, Aldo Reyes, commencing operations in September that year.
She explained to The Reporter on Thursday, that she has always had a desire to contribute to Belize’s legal system, but never considered doing so in a ministerial capacity.
“I look forward to assisting in the improvement of the administration of our legal system so that others can share my faith in it as one that works with proper administration,” Retreage said.
She added that she attributes much of her success to her mother, who taught her that anything can be achieved through hard work and diligence, irrespective of gender. She said she wishes to pass that message on to the women of Belize.