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Nov 29, 2017

Ex-Immigration Director Returns; Says Bosses Failed to Fully Support Reform

The Prime Ministerial press conference delayed today’s Senate Special Select Committee hearing in Belmopan. The sole witness was former Acting Director of the Immigration Department, Maria Marin, who served in that role between February and September of 2013, the last seven months covered by the Auditor General’s Report, and thereafter until April of 2016 when she was transferred to her current post as Director of Refugees. Marin read a prepared statement detailing her work within the Department and the challenges she encountered. While not quite as sensational as her previous appearance, it covered much more background in terms of the day-to-day conditions at the Department. According to Marin, their many attempts at reform were not fully supported by the parent Ministry because of political interference.

 

Maria Marin

Maria Marin, Former Acting Director of Immigration

“Much time, energy and effort was invested in a genuine and passionate attempt by myself and a handful of officers at addressing the many maladies that plagued the Department. It was a daunting and exhausting effort with no deputy assigned ever, during the entire period from February of 2013 to April of 2016. But our sincere desire, integrity and love of country energized and kept us going despite the many hindrances, threats and yes, political chastisement. The undermining of the efforts geared toward improving the department through the use of intimidation tactics such as slashed and ice-picked tires; voodoo dolls placed in vehicles, and my ultimate transfer from the department, for no justifiable reason, albeit welcomed, refers. The feat of being at the helm of the Immigration Department, considering the span and scope of its operations; its dynamism relating to personnel size and dispersity, the extent of services offered, and the importance of the documents issued, requires strength of character and persons with backbone – not wishbone. In light of the above, and perhaps many other efforts that the department engaged in but not addressed here for obvious time limitations, my belief is that much more could have been achieved had the necessary attention and commitment been allocated by those in control of the required resources. I find it necessary to make these last statements in light of the disregard for honesty displayed by some who have appeared before this honorable House despite being under oath, and also the wrongful negativity and ill reports of my integrity and reputation which I have always guarded through an extremely personally demanding and exigent modus operandi and work ethics. This, Honorable Senators, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”

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