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Jan 20, 2012

New Belizeans; 118 sworn in today

In Belmopan, another group mostly of Central American nationals were sworn in as Belizeans; they didn’t speak any English so they mostly listened. While the George Price Center was overflowing for the ceremonies, the official count was put at a hundred and eighteen new Belizeans. This is the second round of swearing in for this week alone in the mad rush to add new voters to the elections list. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The swearing-in of a hundred and eighteen immigrants today was the culmination of several weeks of expedited naturalizations across the country.  The second floor of the George Price Center was filled to capacity with the nationals mostly from Central America.  A handful has been living here since before independence.  Today, after thirty years, Francisco Cuc who is originally from Guatemala is finally becoming a Belizean citizen.

Francisco Cuc

Francisco Cuc, Originally from Guatemala

I am originally from Guatemala like I tell you and I’m happy to be here in Belize and I grow here working hard for we because out there, we have no land to stay and right here is the best place to stay. And that is what I am saying right now and I thank the government and staff and everybody—the whole country of Belize. I appreciate that they are helping we because rumors out there is that those Guatemalans have to go or those Chinese have to go. But the good part is where I appreciate is that they are helping us and I am telling the public right now that there is no way government will give up on us because we are human beings. That is what I understand.”

According to Minister of Immigration Carlos Perdomo, the rush for immigrants to become full-fledged Belizeans is tied directly to the voters list where a deadline of January 20th was the date set aside for them to successfully complete the process.

Carlos Perdomo

Carlos Perdomo, Minister of Immigration

“The reason we have so many people I believe is that once somebody has permanent residence, he is legal so he just have to wait for the five years. But sometimes because they are legal, because they have permanent residency, they don’t particularly rush to get the nationality except at election time when they are invited by the people campaigning; that look we can help you and so forth. I think that is the reason for the rush. The next thing that occurs is that once they get help somewhere, they end up at immigration office. We cannot turn back anybody. Once they are there, the service is offered. If you fulfill the requirements we say okay you can proceed. If you do not fulfill it, we say you cannot depending on what it is. So what causes the rush is always different thirty-one constituencies.”

Fulfilling those requirements is Ana Suchita from Guinea Grass Village.  She has been living here since in 1981 when she migrated from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala.

Isani Cayetano

Ana Suchita

“Why is it only now that you are going through the process of applying for formal recognition as a Belizean citizen?”

Ana Suchita, Originally from Guatemala

“I’m really getting my papers, I’m going through this process because it is a big need for me. I need this paper to work in this country and to make more money for my living expenses.”

Minister of Immigration Carlos Perdomo told the media today that his ministry has been executing its function in naturalizing foreigners above the board.

Carlos Perdomo

“As far as I’m concerned, I’m not getting into the political aspect of the rumors. We have been doing everything straight up and we have been having more swearing ins to facilitate today, the twentieth of January which is the deadline for you to be able to register to vote for the municipal elections. After today we go back to our usual schedule of once a month. So that is what has been happening. I don’t really want to get involved with all the other accusations and so. But as far as I’m concerned we can stand up to any scrutiny that may come later or whenever.”

When asked if nationalization was a means for government to pad the voters list Freddy Hernandez who has been living here since a toddler says he is just fortunate that he finally had the opportunity to become a Belizean regardless of the party in power.

Isani Cayetano

Freddy Hernandez

“Do you feel or believe as though your vote is what is expected at the end of what you are getting?”

Freddy Hernandez, Resident, Spanish Lookout

“Well it’s not just really for the help I am getting. My vote I like Belizean, I feel like every Belizean must vote for a better Belize but not for the party. Some people take it like they will do it for the party, but all ah we wah do it for we to have a better Belize.”

Reporting for News Five, I’m Isani Cayetano.

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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11 Responses for “New Belizeans; 118 sworn in today”

  1. Tim Tomsonlite says:

    Word has it the Save the Earth type groups have been paying off the belize Gov not to drill for oil in Belize. This is costing 10,000 very high paying jobs for Belize and keeping Belize poor by not getting paid for their oil they could sell. The hell with the reef drill for oil. The reef will still be there undamage don’t be fooled the the save the earth type groups. They want to keep Belize poor so they can keep telling Belize what to do.

  2. Marie says:

    let them all come-they want to work, contribute to economy, do purchases and get economy going, unlike Belizeans who don’t want to work and go to Guat and Chet to shop.

  3. me says:

    It is very apalling to see that the sanctimonious udp’s who got in power pretending to be so straight and transparetn doing the same thing they accused the past government of. And more so, they doing it more blatantly. Worse than the pup. I know a fellow where i live that sent in his papers and got his documents all worked out. I asked him if he didnt gone to the swearing in ceremony and he said no and that he got his nationalization straightened out. I will go see it physically and write another line when i have seen it with my own eyes.

  4. Maria Marshall says:

    Nothing wrong with that.
    Best wishes to all Belizeans.

    Maria M.

  5. wangla seed says:

    ASK the die hard UOP,s Elringtons, Pitts, Goldson, Finnegan to force these people to say Belize and not Belice, they are all sellout!!

  6. Shamefull says:

    Carlos Perdomo is talking to the people in SPANISH at a BELIZEAN CITIZENSHIP swearing in ceremony. Dawg eat wi suppa now! Lawyer PITTS ROBATEAU is awfully silent on this!!!!

  7. Bzean Beat says:

    so i guess this is what it takes to guarantee a seat to steal our moneys, give away nationality… Now my life just got harder, cant get a piece of land now]

  8. tiffany says:

    steal???? this is not the PUP government who all they did was sell out our resources and put Belizean in a huge debt. stop listening to crap and inform yourself bzean Beat.

  9. Pelican says:

    Someone once said the UDP does everything the PUP does – ONLY BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. lisa says:

    i had no problem with anyone wanting to be a Belizean. But i do believe you should be able to understand and speak some English. How the hell are u going to let someone in your country and don’t understand what the hell they saying. Come on government your as stupid as the ones your letting in. If they need help what the !**% your gonna need a translator for everything.

  11. lisa says:

    i had no problem with anyone wanting to be a Belizean. But i do believe you should be able to understand and speak some English. How the hell are u going to let someone in your country and don’t understand what the hell they saying. Come on government your as stupid as the ones your letting in.

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