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Oct 7, 2010

…and attorney says Gov’t corruption, not public servants to blame



arthur saldivar

Tonight there are at least five individuals from the Customs and Immigration departments, whose names are being withheld, and who have been suspended from their jobs.  But can a few low ranking public servants orchestrate what is alleged to be a human trafficking ring? According to Arthur Saldivar, who has been retained as attorney for several of the public officers, the corruption is taking place at the highest level of government.

Arthur Saldivar, Attorney for Suspended Public Officers

“They are saying immigration officers are responsible for flights and people who are coming in on those flights when everyone in this country knows that the immigration department has no prevue, authority or ability to deal with airlines and airplanes—whether they be public carriers or otherwise—especially at night. So this is a matter that squarely sits on the shoulders of the Minister of National Security. We remember under the last administration when a similar situation took place—not with planes—but there was an allegation made and an investigation was launched. And in relation to that matter, the minister was asked to step aside and he did.  It is the least that this present government with a prime minister who says with a whiff of corruption, he will take action. It is the least that he could do. Carlos Perdomo cannot escape liability in this matter. And time will tell because this is Belize and what is done in the dark will always come to light. So I will say this Jose, as far as my clients are concerned, they did nothing wrong. They applied the training that they got at the immigration department to process persons who came to Belize. They did to the letter of the law what was expected of them. In fact, as immigration officers, once they are notified that airplanes are coming, they cannot leave; especially at that hour because no one can stay within the confines of the international airport after hours. So even if the plane had no passengers but the crew, pilot and other staff, the immigration personnel had to stay there to vet those persons. It would not be any evidence of wrongdoing that they would be there when this plane landed. That’s their job. That’s their bounding duty.”

Jose Sanchez

“There was an allegation that the passengers, the Asian nationals, did not have visas. What are your clients saying?”

Arthur Saldivar

“My clients are saying that they vetted persons of Japanese nationality, who appeared to have valid Belizean Visa Permits stamped within those passport documents. Now here’s the kicker with this thing, Jose. The immigration officers at airport don’t issue visas, but if an immigration officer at the airport sees a visa within a passport document, it only goes to show that document had to have been in possession of someone who had the authority and ability to inspect it and put that stamp there.  So it’s prima facie proof that the document is valid. So if there is a Belize Visa Permit in that passport document the immigration officer has no independent authority to deny what was lawfully, as far as he is concerned, issued. So how can he be held responsible?”

Jose Sanchez

“So you’re saying it goes all the way up?”

Arthur Saldivar

All arrows point up. This is not one of those times when we will allow the powerless and the poor to take the blame for those who are doing wrong in the highest offices of this country.”

Jose Sanchez

“Essentially, these immigration offices couldn’t have made the connection to Japan, Mainland China. Arrange flights to pass through the Dominican Republic chartered flights through Air sentry to Haiti to pick up passengers to Belize?”

Arthur Saldivar

“Certainly not. Certainly not. Listen, Jose, it’s no secret.”

But is there more than meets the eye? The reports of human smuggling are not new. In fact, it is well known that Asian Nationals use Belize to get to the United States. It is also suspected that one Belize embassy in particular may be involved. This is not the end of this story and more stench will be forthcoming in the illegal issuance of visas.

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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14 Responses for “…and attorney says Gov’t corruption, not public servants to blame”

  1. rod says:

    barrow himself is selling passports wkae up belizeans smell the roses why you think barrow have a big fat bank account in miami he doesnt care about belize or the belizeans who live here why you think the country is in the mess we are this guy is a big traitor to his country and he has to nerve to call other people traitors when he is the biggest traitor of all resign barrow resign you are no good useless and impotent resignnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

  2. Allan says:

    Japanease can enter the US for up to 90 days at a time without needing a visa. So why would the go through that kind of trouble to get to the US… One do not need to be educated to figure this one out…. There is a lot more to this story and I believe that the Government is trying to voer up something here….

  3. Elgin Martinez says:

    Common sense would say that this was mastermind by Barrow and affiliates.The people at the air traffic control knows about every aircraft that enters our air space.If we don’t wake up as Belizeans this man is going to sell our country.Apparently our Nationality has no meaning to this PM how the F is he going to be selling our passport ?Is he out of his mind?

  4. Proud says:

    Allan, you stroke a good point. I don’t see Japanese as people who dying to go to US. As Arthur Saldivar (men, I really like this guy….he mek them politicians look like sheet! Hopefully he no turn like them when wins.) rightly states, the small fish always pays the crime. Mek we see what Hon. Perdomo has to say.

  5. Edith says:

    We as belizeans need to stand up n demand answers. DO NOT ACCEPT THE LITTLE FISHES THEY’RE THROWING OUT THERE! This thing is bigger than these little immigration officers. Its at the top n that person or those persons need to b taken down. Belizeans, don’t think this wont affect u. If u travel outside if Belize, it will b a huge hassle now. When the US starts locking down Belize n treating us like Cuba we’ll suffer. Put n end to this craziness please. Find those criminals n hold them fully responsible. Impeach who needs to b impeached, fire who needs to fired, lock up who needs to b locked up.

  6. ivan cal says:

    ‘CORRUPT DEAN ‘BURROW’ more corruption scandals will come out even at the LANDS DEP’T under gapy vega.He’s trying to link us with china ;at least musa was trying to get us in the fuel buisseness with venezuela’ lol

  7. Dissapointed UDP says:

    Barrow and Perdomo selling passports now!!!!who is the traitor now?. is that by luck or pluck?.how much more have landed or come by road that we dont know about…

  8. K says:

    How much did the immigration officers get paid? We all know that they will make it seem as if they will pursue a case and then like everything else it will disappear into the ether. Sometimes even the small “fish” is in on the “cover up”. Look, Belizeans have short term memory and before you know it, this will be DEAD. All of these men will walk free. In the meantime, they will remain SILENT and pretend INNOCENCE! And what does this do? PROTECTION for the big fish!

  9. Common Sense says:

    Proud – Dont be so quick to heap praise, he has political aspirations himself.

    PUDP rolls on, business as usual.

  10. macal rivera says:

    hey, stop work out uno self.



  11. jackson cobra says:

    i can tell you all that those five guys are being use as scape goats.i don’t want to see those guys get punish and then the person or persons who is really responsible get away with it.i can talk from experience so mr lawyer follow the money and it will take you to the head of the snake,good luck but be careful you might be surprise who all is involve.

  12. devin says:

    Rod is a joke. Every single one of his comments sound like something out of a certain discredited school of thought. If I was Mr Saldivar I would have just shut up on concentrated on my case. That way if the immigration guys lose their case I don’t look like some one who spoke too quickly. It is obvious that even if the corruption is at the top that the underlings also had to get their lee 500 bills to a lee 1000 bills caz deh chiney pay tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands to get belize papers clearance and passport if need be. Remember dat dem lee fish would have gone to Belize Times and channel 5 to report that they were told to process people who shud not have been allowed to enter belize if they were innocent and are not in on the whole thing bcas if I was honest and something like dis happen I would telll belize times and channel 5 dat so an so said I shud turn a blind eye wen some illegal chiney come da belize

  13. Dee says:

    Allan ur correct…..Japanese Nationals dont get hassel to go into the US. Those people were Chinese Nationals n thats FACTS

  14. Ben says:

    Common Sense is right Proud, Saldivar is a political aspirant however, he is the same now as he was at SJC Sixth Form in 93. He is not perfect but he is real.

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