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Jun 13, 2014

Opposition Leader calls out the PM on the passport scandal

Francis Fonseca

The House of Representatives met this morning in the Capital. The sitting concluded shortly after two this afternoon. On adjournment, members from across the aisle on the Opposition side brought up a number of issues of national importance. The immigration scandal involving the illegal issuance of a passport and nationality certificate to a South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim, was raised by the Leader of the Opposition. And there are new revelations that a number of passports and nationality documents were issued to other persons who not only did not quality, but had never set foot in Belize. On Thursday, COLA revealed selected sections of the Auditor-General’s report on the scandal. The report also contains information that the former minister Elvin Penner had taken files from the Immigration Department and that the sitting Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, was well aware of it. The report made reference to stonewalling by the Ministry and particularly the Director of Immigration, Maria Marin. Today, Francis Fonseca lambasted the government saying G.O.B. is obstructing the investigation, while the PM says it’s just matter of being patient.


Francis Fonseca, P.U.P. Leader

“Obstruction was the order of the day. It is not us saying that; it is the Auditor General of Belize saying it was obstruction. Obstruction is the order of the day; there is no cooperation from the Department of Immigration…everybody is hiding, everybody is protecting the other one and protecting their U.D.P. cronies. That is what COLA has to say at their press conference when they revealed their preliminary report. And I have no expectations that that…we were awaiting that report. They categorize it as a preliminary report; we will take them at their word, but that report, we will await that report to be tabled here in the National Assembly.”


Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The Auditor-General did submit a preliminary report to me—whether what COLA has in fact is that report, I don’t know and hence the difficulty of engaging on that issue. But what I will say is this that the report, that I have, makes absolutely clear that there is not another U.D.P. minister that the Auditor General is able to point to in connection with any irregularity in the slightest degree.”


Francis Fonseca

“The people of Belize deserve to know what the government knows. We understand that Senator Hulse has particular files in his possession; we understand again from COLA that particular files were taken out from of the Department of Immigration that are a part of this proposed prosecution. They deserve answers Mister Speaker and on behalf of the people of Belize, we are saying to the Government of Belize, this U.D.P. government; stop the cover up, stop the obstruction and come clean with the people of Belize.”

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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4 Responses for “Opposition Leader calls out the PM on the passport scandal”

  1. Ali BaBarrow is going done says:

    If the PUP has bones it would do a recall petitions on the all the UDP elected criminals.

    Backing it up with a national strike.

  2. Ali BaBarrow is going done says:

    there is not another U.D.P. minister that the Auditor General is able to point to in connection with any irregularity in the slightest degree.”

    Promotions for Hulse and Marin, make her a senator.
    Great job destroying and withholding the evidence.

  3. belizean@heart says:

    Nothing is going to change in Belize until the masses of the Belizean people become politically educated and stop selling out themselves for PUDP pittances. It is because the NTUCB has the potential to create change at the level of the Belizean masses that its leadership was singled out for personal attention by Prime Minister Barrow. Prime Minister Barrow knows well from whence the butter on his bread is derived. The masses of the Belizean people don’t carry checkbooks. You, with eyes to see …DEAN BARROW is VERY smart and he knows very good how to divert the reality and make it artificial like noting di happen,but thousands of Belizeans are not fools like the cronies beside him that have to cover up evrything like godwin hulse,maria marin etc,they are very corrupt as penner and dem need to be prosecuted…but tat will never happen with so much corruption destroying our country.

  4. Timber says:

    Dean, you honestly believe that you’re fooling the average Belizean with these evasive answers and explanations. I guess you think you can because your party got in power by the vote of some of the most ignorant and illiterate people in this country. The ones with a little common sense are now regretting the day they did vote UDP in. Castro’s name is going to be called before this is all over. There are a few citizens also but I won’t call their names because I’m not sure of their involvement. Francis, from the time I knew you, you’ve always been too passive and not aggressive enough and tend to shy away from confrontation. That’s not a good sign and characteristic of an effective leader. Elections are coming up; believe me, they have to call it early, they cannot sustain this debt and crime. You, as a leader, Francis will have to push more and be more effective. The voting population of Belize is unpredictable and, it seems as if the working class has become so disenchanted with corrupt politics on both sides, that they don’t even cast their ballots. So, you know who’s voting, the ones from the poor, downtrodden, crime-filled neighborhoods who firmly believe that $50 every two weeks and some free food and alcohol every so often are the pinnacle of their lives. Let me use this forum to talk about two other issues. Did Dean think those lies or half-truth statements he gave about the unions at his press conference fool anyone who had knowledge of the situation? He called the unions “disrespectful”, “greedy”, “rude” “offensive” and all kinds of derogatory names. What he didn’t tell the public that the public servants who already had their increment for the year, will not be getting their 3%, only possibly their 6%. He also talked about government needed to lower the tax exemption rates for workers from $500 per week (if I recall correctly) to a lower scale so that more revenue can be collected. For what? So, he, his ministers, his family and ex-wives can steal more? Besides, how many of Belizeans make $2,000 per month. Many are about to retire and are just reaching that salary scale. What he didn’t say was that these are the same folks who are paying 25% of their salaries in income, and he (lawyers in specific) , some businessmen (who are in their favour) are paying only 3% income tax. Channel 5 please research my last two statements and correct me in this forum if I’m wrong. In the US, we pay our fair share. We make more, so we pay more. These are some of the things you should be emphasizing Francis. Channel 5, you also need to do better research and stop just being a news reporter. Everyone on the streets know the news, most times before you ever find out and even more than what you know. If you’re going to just repeat the happenings that’s not effective journalism. You should always have extensive knowledge of a subject so that you can confer or refute some of the issues made public, comment afterwards, and give food for fodder. This also opens the eyes of the public and hopefully give some of the ignorant ones a different perspective.

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