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Feb 8, 2017

Former C.E.O. Denies Involvement in Visa Recommendation Process

But what of Saldivar-Morter herself? At one point in the Auditor General’s Report, she was mentioned as one of the persons who asked for the Department to facilitate visas for selected persons, and there is an appendix in the report listing the names in question. But Saldivar-Morter insists that she knows better than that; as C.E.O. she could ask that the Director or her subordinate consider the application or take necessary action, but she could not pressure them to do so. As she pointed out, being in charge of several Ministries meant she had to dispose of similar requests the same way.

 

Elena Smith, Senator for Trade Unions

“It identifies you as one of the persons who made requests for applicants to be facilitated with a Belize visa; that’s on page nine, of the Visa. Could you say whether that is so?”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter, Former C.E.O., Ministry of Immigration

“I mentioned earlier that as the C.E.O., I am the supervisor for the Director of Immigration, and so as the C.E.O., if any document, any application whether it is for visa, for passport, for nationality, by some way ends up on my desk, it is my responsibility to forward it because I am not the person that deals with it, so it is my responsibility to send the document over to Miss Marin and say, these are for your necessary action.”

 

Elena Smith

“So are you saying that is matter is referring to that?”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“At no time, at no time have I ever recommended anybody for a visa. She mentioned one; there are several times that documents reach my desk either through the Minister or through other Ministries, where they are requesting visas for different reasons. I, then, forward the application to the Director, who is expected to action the file. But in terms of my personally recommending a visa, I have never done that. Never done that. I never interfere with the work of the Director of Immigration in terms of those things; I only deal with the Director in terms of what is my responsibility and in the terms of my job as her supervisor.”

 

Aldo Salazar

Aldo Salazar, Chair, Senate Special Select Committee

“So you are saying that the statement that you requested that they facilitate a visa is false?”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“I never asked for them to facilitate any visa. Like I mentioned, sometimes the application reaches my desk; and all I do is forward it to the Director for action.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So what is it…”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“I am not the Director; I do not approve visas, so if an application reaches my desk, I have to forward it. It is not only to the Director – it is not only Immigration Department that documents reach my desk and I have to route it to the correct Department. Things come to my desk for the Labour Commissioner and I have to route it to him for necessary action…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“So it wouldn’t be that you…”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“It wouldn’t be that I recommended.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“Again, speaking for myself, this gives the impression and I want you to clarify that…”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“I know it gives the impression…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“It gives the impression that you wrote and you said, please facilitate these people with visas.”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“No, no. I always – and it is not only this case; and that is why I was concerned as to why only this case…”

 

Elena Smith

“They have five listed here…”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“No, this is one memo with three names.”

 

Aldo Salazar

“It’s one memo with three names, yes.”

 

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“But I sent over more than one memo, because whenever…”

 

Aldo Salazar

“And what would this memo have said?”

Candelaria Saldivar-Morter

“Submitted for necessary action or consideration or whatever; but the thing is it’s not for me. It’s information that comes to my desk and I forward.”

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