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Dec 9, 2014

Marleny Castellanos walks from immigration offences

Kevin Arthurs

The case of Marleny Castellanos, who was named as the mastermind in an immigrations scam, came up today in the magistrate court. But what seemed to be an iron-tight case suddenly collapsed in court. Castellanos walked free this morning when the court cleared her of all thirty-eight charges for aiding and abetting immigrants to use documents they were not entitled to. Back in May 2013, Castellanos and her husband, Alfredo Marcos, were accused of aiding over a hundred residents of Caye Caulker and elsewhere to obtain documents for residency and nationality.  The charges appeared strong due to the strength of documents. Initially the couple pleaded guilty but later, they changed their plea to not guilty.  On October twenty-eight, 2014, Marleny and her husband were found not guilty of ten counts and today unable to seal a conviction against the couple, the Immigration Department withdrew all charges.  Her attorney, Kevin Arthurs asked Magistrate Dale Cayetano to dismiss the charges against the duo due to insufficient evidence; the court did.

 

Kevin Arthurs, Attorney

“Today when we returned to court,, the prosecution in the form of their prosecutor, Mister Munnings, informed the court that they will be offering no further evidence and therefore the matter was dismissed against Marleny Castellanos. She has no further matters before the court and today is sort of an indication for them because their position from the very beginning was that the actions of the Immigration Department in respect to their documents was that there was nothing that they had done wrong. It seems to me from the position from the Immigration Department in their actions to withdraw the matter that they are agreeing. Of importance is that in respect to the husband, Mister Gonzalez, his position was that the Immigration Department had acted illegally against him. It is unfortunate that without legal counsel they had taken a course which seemed to have muddied the waters. But after we came to court and the court had leave of all the evidence, the court was able to—and even to an extent the prosecution through the Immigration Department—was able to agree that there was no case with respect to them. The larger concern in this case is really a fear and a larger sense of victimization of the family, who has a young and disabled child, and their continued victimization from the authorities. That is more the concern at this time than whether or not there was any case against them. It would be sad if these persons were continually victimized. There is the issue now of a court order against the Immigration Department requiring that certain documents be returned to them for which the Immigration Department has categorically and expressly refused to follow the lawful court order. That is of some concern both to the court and to me, as the counsel, that this is the extent in which we are in. There have been steps which have been taken to get compliance of the Immigration Department, but they have not as yet obeyed a lawful court order and that is some of concern.”

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3 Responses for “Marleny Castellanos walks from immigration offences”

  1. Rod says:

    Unu duncy belizeans deserve whatever unu get

  2. madness says:

    Common!!!! Of course they were acquited the UDP needs those votes.

  3. beachman says:

    Immigration Department withdrew their charges because they would have had to identify the Ministry Officials who allowed this scam to happen!!

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