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Jan 4, 2017

Former Acting Director Says Insta-Visas, passports, Nationalities Not Legit

The Committee also tried to question Marin on the various approvals for visas, passports and nationalities in 2012 and 2013, when she was deputy and then holding over as acting director, but she stated that she could only really speak to those done in 2013. She went on to clarify what powers she held in the post and what she did and did not see, and for what reasons batch approvals of visas, passports and nationality for apparent first-time visitors to Belize took place.


Maria Marin, Former Director of Immigration

“As the Deputy Director, I was mostly responsible for directions that the Director would indicate. The functions proper would come from the Director. It was to assist the Director in the operational aspects, the general management of the Department. However, most of the responsibilities that were directly under the – assigned directly to the Director were only carried out by me as deputy when the Director was on leave and I was holding over. Something like visas, for example, would not come to my desk, if the Director is in office.”


Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Special Committee



Maria Marin

Maria Marin

“No. Only if the Director is not in office. Nationalities, P.R.’s – only if the Director is not in office and I am officially and formally holding over.”


Aldo Salazar

“How could this have happened? This person would clearly not have had or met any of those conditions. I don’t know – I don’t think he was married to – even if he was married to a Belizean, he wouldn’t have been here for a year; if he was nationalized, he wouldn’t have been here for five years – so he wouldn’t have met any of the requirements for the issuance of a Belizean passport. So where was it in the Department that would allow for somebody who had come here for a month or two, could have gotten a Belize passport?”


Maria Marin

“Unless that person would have gotten nationality by descent, which even then would have taken six weeks. But otherwise, there is nothing that I know of, that if that is the first time you are coming to Belize, that you can get a passport within that timeframe.”


The Senate meetings continue next Wednesday, although a formal schedule has not been released.

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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