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Jul 25, 2014

Residents comment on failed Penner prosecution

Last September corruption came to light when the Penner immigration scandal was first exposed. This involved the corruption in the issuance of Belizean passports to individuals who did not qualify. In the case of South Korean national, Won Hong Kim, there was evidence that he did not meet even the basic requirements, however still obtained nationality and citizenship. The former minister of Immigration, Elvin Penner, recommended and facilitated the passport to Kim. Since then COLA has made efforts to bring justice to the Belizean people through its private prosecution. However, On July twenty-fourth, 2014 Magistrate Aretha Ford freed Penner of those charges. The case was one that stirred comment so today, News Five spoke to the public who was disappointed in the verdict and more so, the system, which they believe is weakening the integrity of our country.


Resident 1

“As a Belizean, they teach we that if you do the crime, spend the time. Over the years weh I notice, yo do the crime, yo have the money, yo pay the fine. As a poor man, when it comes to the laws and the forces, to men, it seems as if they have no use—the law and the forces—fi label, condemn, oppose and oppress poor people ina my country Belize.”


Resident 2

“I would just say let the authorities take care of it and the prime minister. That is one of his followers and he fu deal with it. My comment noh wah make no difference. I could tell you the world of whatever—it could be true, it could be lie—but he noh have no right fi do what he did.”


Duane Moody

“But sir, you know the thing is that people, man deh di go back ah prison for a stick of weed, for small crimes and then this is something where you are selling our nationality, you are selling our Belizean birthright and man, just ah slap on the wrist?”


Resident 2

“Well like I said, let the authorities do their job and if they noh di do their job then they di tolerate it.”


Chelsea Wagner

“How do you feel about the fact that former minister Elvin Penner was freed of all the charges in regards to the passport scandal?”


Resident 3

“Expected. Yeah of course it was expected. His party is in power, what do you expect? They control the law.”


Chelsea Wagner

“If you got a chance to speak to these politicians, what would have been your statement to them?”


Resident 3

“That that is why the Belizean public does not believe in our political system; that is why the Belizean public does not believe in the law because the law should be impartial to all people—not because you are a minister. That is why when people get away with things, the public doesn’t really believe in the law anymore. And that is why even in the international community, Belize is not being respected. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe the United States of America believes in our passports because our passports have been diluted because they are selling it about to everyone.”


Resident 4

“Question me about Penner? They betta stop play. Me feel bad about that because they only wah give dehn more chance fi sell more passports and sell out the country to dehn people deh.”


Chelsea Wagner

“So what would you say to these politicians?”


Resident 4

“Please reopen back this case with Penner and make Penner go to jail for the sale a passports; that’s all I want and make ih stop sell out fi we country. thst dah weh I want say to Penner and the rest of them. Please mister prime minister; take care of your people dehn.”


COLA says that it will be appealing the decision by Magistrate Aretha Ford.  

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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2 Responses for “Residents comment on failed Penner prosecution”

  1. Belizean says:

    Maybe this case needs an eye opener. I have one. Mr Barrow is using Mr Penner as a cover for a greater sin. People, does it not occur to you that the GOB wants you to think that Penner is the sole one responsible here? That is absolute BS!!!! Penner is the scape goat, the cover up, and it works darn well cuz he’s a Mennonite!!! I would call it taking advantage of someone with high integrity. So, lets get to the real bottom of this story. I honestly believe that COLA is going to the extreme, just biting around on Penner..I say they are serving Mr Barrows plans well!!

  2. Been There & Done That says:

    Belizeans are racist bunch.
    I bet if Penner was not a white man, a Mennonite with Canadian roots and instead a black Belizean the public would not be upset.

    Belizeans hate white people. Tourists stay away from Belize.

    Been There & Done That . . . and glad to be out.

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