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Aug 14, 2018

Re-registration Numbers decrease; Frustration builds at Vital Statistic Unit

We are seventeen days away from the culmination of the mass re-registration exercise. As of August eleventh, a total of ninety thousand, eight hundred and seventy-three applications have been received by the Election and Boundaries Department. Last week, nine thousand, three hundred and twenty applications were submitted. This demonstrates another decrease when compared to the previous week. The Department intended to re-register about two hundred thousand persons by the end of August but that task seems impossible now with only two weeks remaining and about one hundred and ten thousand applications needed to reach the target. For many people, a visit to the Vital Statistic Unit is necessary especially during the ongoing re-registration process. For many, the problem emerges when one visit turns into two or three. As News Five’s Hipolito Novelo found out today, the long and slow moving lines at the Vital Statistics Unit had people frustrated.


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

Packed to capacity- that’s what the Vital Statistic Unit at the corner of Hyde’s Lane and New Road looked like this morning when we stopped by at around ten o’clock. Those in line seemed impatient, tired and quite honestly, frustrated.


This man surely was. He has been waiting to be attended to since six o’clock this morning- about two hours before the office opened. That’s what you have to do in order to avoid spending the entire day in line, but it was minutes after ten o’clock when we spoke to him and several persons were still in front of him. He missed breakfast to be ahead of the line, but by the size of the crowd this morning, he might have missed lunch. Like so many before him, and what will be many others after him, this Belize City resident was there to have an error corrected.



“I am here from like a month now. When I come here, actually when they write my name and so, when I come registered everything changed. Why? When I get the papers, some title will change; different. You see how much people are complaining here. I am sorry because I feel for them sorry too. I am here from six o’clock this morning. I catch my line here.”


Hipolito Novelo

“It’s after ten o’clock.”



“I not even drink my yea yet. All I do is a bottle of coffee but sorry I miss you. “


Hipolito Novelo

“Is this the first time that you are experiencing this problem here?”



“Millions of thousands of times. Million of times them people I come here and reach here and ….”


Hipolito Novelo

“What is the problem?”



“I feel sorry for my people them; all of the country north south east and west. All what they do, they reach there, different name and then have to wait on the line. Last three weeks I left from here my birth paper was never fixed. I left six o’clock in the evening.”


The hellish experience at the Vital Statistic Unit, which is responsible for issuing death, birth and marriage certificates, has been ongoing for quite some time. People stand in line for hours trying to get their documents in order. Those who can’t, pay someone to do so. Like what we saw during the Visa/Passport scandal, there are agents willing to stand in line for you but for a fee and that depends on what all you need the agent to do.


The lines have gotten longer and more packed during this mass re-registration period. Political operatives are seen moving in and out of the building, easily maneuvering through the lines to get the documents for voters to be registered.


This man has been in line for hours to have an error on his daughter’s birth certificate corrected.



“I bring this paper. They made a mistake. They put a different date. Now I have to come and reapply again for them to give me the correct date for the birth of my baby. They pout the eight of February and it’s  the thirtieth of January that she was born. So I have to reapply again.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.

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 “Re-registration Numbers decrease; Frustration builds at Vital Statistic Unit”

  1. Kay says:

    This department has been doing those “errors” for quite some years now and have the gall to force you to pay AGAIN to have them fix THEIR OWN screw-up. Imagine everybody that had to pay $15 to get an amendment done to a document that THEY F-ed up. This added on to the original cost of the document. Just a big hustling at the expense of tax-payers. Another “Hot Bed of Corruption” that can’t seem to be fixed….smfh!!!

  2. Marie says:

    It is also the person fault applying to look over the documents for misspel name and dates.

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