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Jan 24, 2023

Colombian Student Charged with Immigration Offense and Charge is Dismissed

A Colombian student on vacation in Belize found himself in trouble with the law after he was charged with failure to produce himself to an immigration officer upon entering the country. But the charge was dismissed and the student, thirty-two-year-old Ivan Gonzez remains in custody until he can leave Belize on his own. Gonzez was charged on grounds that when he entered Belize on January eighteenth, he failed to present himself to an immigration officer. Two days later, he was picked up by police near the Phillip Goldson International Airport while trying to leave Belize on a flight. At his arraignment before Magistrate Mannon Dennison, Gonzez explained that he did present himself at the port of entry, but that at the time, there was no one present, so he left. The magistrate believed him, dismissed the charge and set him free under Section twenty-four-B of the Summary Jurisdiction Act. Gonzez, who is a student in the U.S., will remain in custody until he can leave the country. The U.S. Embassy has been informed of his situation and arrangements are being made to assist him with his departure.

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