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Sep 14, 2017

Vital Stats Leadership Could Be Called Before Special Senate Select Committee

On Wednesday, Director of Immigration Diana Locke gave an example of how the humble birth certificate is the gateway to all things Belizean. If parents of foreign nationalities can claim to be Belizean, almost anyone can – witness David Nanes Schnitzer, Rafic Labboun or those scammed in Caye Caulker by Marleny Castellanos a few years ago. The birth certificate is the base document needed to obtain passports, nationality, Social Security, voter’s ID, driver’s license – nearly all nationally accepted identifications. While the dream of a national identification system is still off, the need to secure the process of birth certificate from hospital to the Vital Statistics Unit’s offices nationwide remains a priority and so the Senate Special Select Committee, on the advice of Immigration Director Diana Locke, plans to interrogate the officers in charge of that department.



Eamon Courtenay, P.U.P. Senator

“The integrity of your system to a large extent is dependent on the integrity of Vital Stats?”


Diana Locke, Director of Immigration

“That is correct.”


Eamon Courtenay

“And you are saying to us that you still have concerns at this time about the accuracy and authenticity of two things: one, what they are doing and things that come out as if it came from them, which is a different thing.”


Diana Locke

“I am not sure about coming out as if it were from there, but certainly documents that we have seen which I am assuming came from Vital Stats. When we have doubt we check with them.”


Eamon Courtenay

“And have they ever said to you that’s a fraudulent document?”


Diana Locke

“Since I’ve been there we haven’t had a fraudulent case but it has a lot to do with maybe a spelling or accuracy of the information. From time to time we have queried late registrations because that is a practice that still happens and so that is another area of concern for us, because we don’t know whether or not. There are cases right now that I am aware of that are being looked at and we are being made aware by Social Security. Social Security sometimes encounters those cases before we do, because people are required to have an ID when they come to the passport office. So after leaving the Vital Stats they would generally go to Social Security and apply for a card and they have a very good system in place where they are very vigilant in checking things and so sometimes they contact us and bring it to our attention things that they have flagged that they’ve seen.”


Eamon Courtenay

“So listening to you seems that we should have a session with Vital Stats to understand their system and what’s happening there as it affects your department.”


Diana Locke


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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1 Response for “Vital Stats Leadership Could Be Called Before Special Senate Select Committee”

  1. Jonah says:

    Call Velda- all she does is sit down and no organization or goals with the registries she administers trying to dictate from afar and usually getting it wrong

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