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Oct 18, 2013

A look at the investigating team in the passport scandal

Day thirty-one, and there is still no information coming out of the Ministry of Immigration on the extent of irregularities within the nationality and passport department. On Tuesday, Elvin Penner was publicly flogged by his political boss and asked to resign. According to the PM, over the long weekend a team of investigators turned up new evidence which killed Penner’s hopes of a political return. But what was that evidence? Well, nobody knows, since the Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse would not say.  C.E.O. of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar, has offered nothing on the investigation except to say that Penner wasn’t under investigation because he is not a guided under the public service regulations.  Acting Director of Immigration, Maria Marin, has said even less, and only when directly prompted. So why is the investigation being conducted in such absolute secrecy? Why have the Police been directed to examine only how files from the Immigration Department were leaked to the public? Why is Elvin Penner being protected from prosecution? Valid questions, and today Mike Rudon tried to connect the dots.

 

Prime Minister Dean Barrow [File: October 10, 2013]

“…if there is one thing that can and will bring down this government it is hustling in immigration. I have heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God sake stop it, stop it! That is what will cause the government to fall.”

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Godwin Hulse

It’s as simple as that. This comment by Prime Minister Dean Barrow shows just what is at stake. There are credible reports that U.D.P. ministers are involved in the immigration corruption. But if there is any evidence, the U.D.P. administration would crumble. And it’s against that backdrop that we introduce the team which is conducting the investigation in Immigration.

 

Meet the team…Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse, CEO in the Ministry of Immigration Candelaria Saldivar, and Director of Immigration Maria Marin.

 

Godwin Hulse is a U.D.P. Senator and a Minister in the Barrow administration. He was sworn in on March fourteenth, 2012. He was not elected and serves no constituency. His portfolio was given to him by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and it can be taken away by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Appointed, not elected…he serves only at the whim of his boss, the Prime Minister. Godwin Hulse is the Minister of Immigration. He is heading the investigation into the Ministry of Immigration.

 

Candelaria Saldivar

Candelaria Saldivar is the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Immigration. Four years ago she was a mid-level public officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Today, she is a high paid executive with the Barrow administration. Candelaria Saldivar is the sister of Minister of National Security John Saldivar. She pulls in a salary of about five thousand seven hundred dollars a month. Her allowances add up to three thousand one hundred and fifty dollars a month. So Saldivar makes about eight thousand, eight hundred and fifty dollars every month. Her rise to fortune was tied to the success of the U.D.P. in elections in 2008. Her fortune now is tied to the success of the U.D.P.

 

The final member of the team is Director of Immigration Maria Marin. She was appointed to act in that post after former Director Ruth Meighan was arbitrarily transferred in late January 2013. Marin has close ties to a senior Minister in the U.D.P. from a western constituency. One of her brothers heads the National Bank of Belize. Another brother is a partner in a multi-million dollar contract to build the grandstand at the Marion Jones Complex.She serves at the whim of Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

 

And remember what’s at stake…

 

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“…if there is one thing that can and will bring down this government it is hustling in immigration. I have heard that there are ministers who are procuring visas for people. I have said pretty much every second cabinet, if you are doing so, I have no proof, for God sake stop it, stop it! That is what will cause the government to fall.”

 

Connections on top of connections…political, personal and economic ties that bind! And this is the team investigating corruption at the Ministry of Immigration.

 

The call from organizations and individuals countrywide for an impartial, independent inquiry and investigation continues. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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5 Responses for “A look at the investigating team in the passport scandal”

  1. beano for barrow says:

    let’s see, they are all part of a criminal conspiracy?

    their responsibility is a personal oath to barrow not to get caught?

    what they do during their ‘investigation’, is shred documents and ‘correct the problem’?
    the problem being, not to get caught and keep barrow out of jail?

    all this mental lifting is giving me a bad back while I wait for their next sucker punch.

    so when are they going to release the all good, all fixed report?
    the corruption officers need to get back to the money machine.
    cover ups divert too many people from the mission of thieving.

  2. Gary says:

    Wish I had know about this ring…I could have gotten my partner from Russia to Cuba to Belize then to the USA. I spent thousands of dollars to get my partner an American visa the right way, and my partner is still in Russia. F***! I will go straight to the source next time; the Belizean Immigration department stands by the philosophy that “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” I might still have a chance when this all blows over and things are back to business…love corruption in Belize. It moves mountains. My partner could have already been by my side in the US. I will see what I can do when I hit Belize at Christmas.

  3. belizeanheat says:

    Lets get all the George St. gang members to investigate themselves and see how much criminal activity they come up with.

  4. Guerra says:

    Four years ago Candelaria was a mid-level public officer in the Ministry of Natural Resources. Today, she is a high paid Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Immigration. To leap frog from mid level to high paid executive officer, a person have to qualify (himself, herself) further and prove that you are capable without a doubt, that you are capable of handling all tasks. Under new government, you only have to be family to a politician. Everybody else who were waiting for their promotion just get passed over, as incompetency take over.

  5. not enuf Beano, Deano says:

    Gary, it appears this is what the US government wants you do to. That is, to go to a corrupt government and criminally buy a legitimate passport that has a more favorable visa & passport status in the US. Another way for the US to prop up this criminal and incompetent government.

    Belize, a race to the bottom.
    education – check
    reputation – check
    nepotism – check
    economy – check
    transparency – check
    arrogance – check

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