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Feb 24, 2014

Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana still in court for slew of charges

It has been a very rocky road for a Guatemalan woman who has been back and forth in court since last week Monday for a slew of charges. Forty-nine year old Guatemalan national, Georgina Maribel Mendez Aldana, was fined two thousand dollars last Monday for employing two Guatemalan nationals, Cesar Gerardo Hichos Ramirez, and Hugo Rolando Orellana Salas, without a valid employment permit.   Immediately after Aldana paid the fines, immigration officials handed her to the police department for other charges relating to fisheries offenses. The Fisheries Department pressed charges on Aldana and her employees for engaging in commercial fishing without a valid fishing license, for attempting to export fish without a valid fish exporter’s license, and for engaging in the fishing of sea cucumbers without a special license. For the fisheries charges, bail was denied and today Aldana was back in court for a new charge for the possession of a false document. Aldana is accused of knowingly holding a false document being a Belize Fisheries Department Exporters License. Aldana pleaded guilty to this offense and while in court she also changed her not guilty plea to guilty for engaging in commercial fishing without a valid fishing license. After mitigation pleas, the magistrate imposed a fine of five hundred dollars for the fisheries offense and she was fined six thousand dollars for the possession of a false document. Ramirez and Salas were also fined five hundred dollars each for the fisheries offenses. But they weren’t able to pay the fine, so they are back in custody. The facts of the case against the trio are that on February sixteenth, they were found in possession of seven thousand and thirty sea cucumbers. Checks by the Fisheries Department revealed that the export license held by Aldana was not genuinely issued by the department.

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