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May 10, 2019

Minister Beverly Williams Expels U.S. Veteran Guillermo Ortiz from Belize

Minister of State for Immigration Beverly Williams signed off on the expulsion of Guillermo Ortiz, a U.S. Veteran who was in Belize since August of last year. It took immediate effect and Ortiz is already in Peten, Guatemala.  In the order, Minister Williams invokes sections two and three of the Aliens Act.  According to the order, Minister Williams agreed that Ortiz be expelled for the welfare of Belize or for public safety. Ortiz, however, says that he was illegally incarcerated on Thursday and again this morning when he was served the expulsion order, dated May sixth.  Back in April, it was reported that Ortiz made several serious allegations against senior customs officer, Elmer Torres, in Punta Gorda. Torres, we were told, was under investigation after a cell phone video captured by Ortiz regarding his allegations made its way on social media. Ortiz has retained the legal services of attorney Ermmita Anderson who spoke to News Five via phone.


On the Phone: Ermmita Anderson, Attorney for Guillermo Ortiz

“Yesterday he went to the immigration department, voluntarily of course, to get his stamp placed in his passport. He had a stamp which had him remain in Belize and that was in his old passport or his receipt given by immigration. Therefore, he went into immigration with his new passport to have that stamp transferred. Upon his arrival, at the immigration department her in Belmopan, his passport and other documents were taken away from him and he was told to wait. He waited and shortly thereafter some immigration officer came and served him with an expulsion order. They served him with an expulsion order and also detained him at the Belmopan police station.”


Hipolito Novelo

“He was expelled for what reason?”


On the Phone: Ermmita Anderson

“The order itself it gives the section where the Minister has the power to do an expulsion. Section two of the act and section two of the act gives three circumstances where the Minister, this is the Aliens Act, under which the Minister can expel somebody from Belize. In the order itself she did not state which section of the act she is actually referring to. So sections two gives her the permission to expel someone where that person has been convicted in Belize or where it was ordered by a court that the person is convicted and should be expelled under those circumstances. He has never been convicted here in Belie so part (a) and part (b) would not apply. However part (c) that if it appears to the minister that it is expedient for the welfare of Belize or for the public safety that the alien shall be expelled from Belize. So I would believe that it is section two, one C of the act she used to expel Mr. Ortiz from 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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