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Jan 17, 2014

B.N.T.U. pledges support for suspended immigration officers

Luke Palacio

As we told you earlier in our newscast, it has been reported that three public officers – Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson are on the chopping block based on a direct recommendation from Director of Immigration Maria Marin. Those public officers are perceived to be the scapegoats for corruption in immigration which goes to the very highest levels. There is much anger because Elvin Penner, the man who was front and center of the passport and nationality certificate scandals, has come out unscathed. Led by National President of the B.N.T.U. Luke Palacio, those who stood up today to make their voices heard lashed out at G.O.B. and pledged support for Neal, Phillips and Robinson.

FOR VIDEO CLICK HERE: Teachers comment on immigration issues

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“How can we continue to have our children believe…how can we continue to have our children believe that it is okay to be corrupt – that it is okay for our citizenship, our citizenship as Belizeans to be bartered out to terrorists, to would be criminals and others. We are going to watch this immigration scandal all the way to the end, and if it does not have a satisfactory outcome, we will have to do something.”


Anne Palacio

Anne Palacio, Teacher

“How can these public officers be terminated when there are people who are bigger than that who have been causing the problems? Why are they not terminated? What happened to Penner? What happened to Castro? Those are the bigger fish…deal with those!”


George Frazer, Retired B.N.T.U. General Secretary

“We can’t have the big fish that commit all the criminal acts get away…we’re going to stand with them. Teachers are going to stand with them. You touch one you touch all.”


Geovanni Brackett

Geovanni Brackett, President, COLA

“We should not allow Penner to walk and then we sacrifice these three public officers for one. He gets to sit in the House of Representatives, gets to be called honorable…gets to live off the perks, the pay, off the people – these same teachers right here. His pay isn’t being cut; he is getting the fat salary nevertheless. And then we will sacrifice three public officers. That is ridiculous and we find that very appalling at COLA.”


Pamela Baird

Pamela Baird, Teacher, Wesley Lower School

“I’m very disappointed in the Minister of Immigration, because prior to him becoming a minister, he had the people’s back. So I cannot understand the statement where he said I am only Godwin and not God, because we expect so much more from him.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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