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Dec 6, 2021

Immigration Minister Repeats: South American Trip Was About Passports, Not Narcotics Trade

Last week, a trip to Bolivia and Peru by Immigration officers made headlines after the President of the Public Service Union reportedly asserted that travel was somehow made with nefarious intent.  Hours later, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, fired off a two page release denying the assertion and asking for an apology.  The Ministry’s release said; quote, “The ministry hereby explicitly states that the immigration services provided to Belizeans and foreigners are not related to the narcotic trade,” unquote. At the start of today’s Senate meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay further chastised the President of the PSU.

 

Eamon Courtenay, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

“Mr. Flowers alleged that there was a connection between the officers of the Immigration Department who visited Bolivia and Peru earlier this year, to provide passports services to Belizeans resident in those countries. Mr. Flowers has since apologized. Mr. Vasquez and his TV station have also apologized. Mr. President, colleagues, I deplore in this strongest possible terms, this baseless attacks on public officers. Mr. Flowers knew then that what he said was untrue. It was uncalled for and it was unfair. None of the public officers involved had any of the opportunity to defend themselves in that television program. The apologies forthcoming from Channel 7 and Mr. Flowers are not enough. There are many people who heard the program and are unaware of the apologies, and believe that what Mr. Flowers said is true. It is a blatant lie. The fact of the matter is, Madam President and members of the Senate, the Ministry hereby explicitly states that the services provided to Belizeans and foreigners are not related to narcotic trade. Further, the Ministry categorically denies that the services provided to Belizeans, and I emphasize, Belizeans living in Bolivia and Peru, are not tied to the narcotics trade.”


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