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Oct 4, 2013

Immigration scandal remains uncontained; Barrow says party will support Penner

Dean Barrow

The raging flames of the immigration scandal remain uncontained tonight and there is the very real possibility that its effect will be felt in the Cayo Northeast constituency in days to come.  The People’s United Party has issued an ultimatum to area representative Elvin Penner to resign from the House of Representatives by Monday or face recall.  This is in light of the ongoing fiasco in which he participated in the issuance of a falsified Belizean passport to an international fugitive on September ninth.  While Kim Wonhong has been deported to South Korea where he is presently incarcerated, Penner, having been dismissed from cabinet, is at the mercy of his constituents.  The People’s United Party is mobilizing to start a recall process. And the prime minister says that the U.D.P. will stand behind its man.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“With respect now to his constituency and the recall, it stops there.  He’s been punished.  He needs to get out there and tell his constituency what the deal is.  He needs, as I say, to try to make amends to his constituency and to the wider country and thereafter let the people decide.”



“So then the U.D.P. will support Mr. Penner as a candidate for Cayo Northeast in the next election?  Do you so foresee?”


Dean Barrow

“Now how we get to the next election man, they are how far away?  I am talking to you about the here and now and the fact of this recall mechanism and I am saying that in terms of the recall exercise, yes, the party will rally around Elvin Penner.  We believe that he deserves a second chance.  We believe that we ought to help him persuade his constituents not to recall him.  If the constituents decide otherwise so be it.”



“Sir, allow me to just explicate because I think we are misunderstanding each other. Interpol put out the wrong picture…”


Dean Barrow

“I gather you did an excellent investigative piece. I supposed, from a technical point of view, I suppose then I must concede when you say that the narrative is as you claim it to be.”



“So if there are material misrepresentations—it is involving a passport; not a water bill. There are material misrepresentations about his agency in procuring a passport on the same day by his attestation for an individual who was incarcerated in another country. isn’t that significant enough?”


Dean Barrow

“It is significant enough for him to be fired and so he has been. I am not going to get into as I said any argument with you about the narrative. You are telling me things that may well be so, but that I don’t agree or disagree. I have what was put before me in the early days. Clearly the investigation is still ongoing and perhaps more things will come to light, but I have what was put before me in the early days. And what was out before me without getting into the details was quite sufficient for me to act indeed was such it left me with no choice. There was not any option of not acting. I have done so. I feel like I have discharged my duty to the people of this country.”

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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25 Responses for “Immigration scandal remains uncontained; Barrow says party will support Penner”

  1. Rod says:

    Two of a kind two traitors ti their country and two thieves

  2. RedBwai says:

    He has to make amends with his constituency?? you mean he has to find a way to bribe his constituency to not let them vote him out…ahhh democracy at its best…and FYI he hasn’t been punished even the slightest in my eyes…he needs a public flogging if you ask me!!

  3. belizeanheat says:

    “The investigation is on going” – translation: I don’t know what to say so I am keeping my mouth shut.
    Barrow is dancing around all the questions right now but of course he will defend Penner; if not, he knows he will lose his majority in the house.

  4. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    Our nation need to rise up and protest against corruption…we the belizean need to protest and fight until Penner resign. Its time that we stand up and say NO to corruption. Dean Barrow i once voted for u but seeing that u havent changed, by supporting a corrupt minister that tells me that you dont care about your people much less the integrity of our nation. U would plea to the U.S embassy to pressure you in this matter. Selling out citizenship for personal gain is a crime and a huge one. You are an attorney, you know the law. Not because p.u.p didnt sanctioned max sammuels at the time when he was in charge of immigration that mean that mean that you will do the same, its ur time now to show them that you are different and u have a zero tolerance in corruption, but by not doing so you are telling the nation and the world that you are worst of the wirst. Listen to the cry of ur people. Dont loose d coming elections becaz trust me……YOU WILL LOOSE IF YOU DONT FIRE PENNER INCOMPLETELY.

  5. Concern says:

    The PM need to speak so let him speak! Iand the party will rally around Elvin Penner for his wrong doings.

    I think the man is saying he is now a full supporter of corruption as long it’s being done by a minister. Case closed!

  6. Love says:

    The hesbola case of the man going through Mexico was given a Mennonite name. Wasn’t that unusual? Oh…I see what you mean, Penner is a mennonite. So how much chance do we need to give this man? According to the PM, just a SECOND CHANCE. Somehow we got stuck at second chances, because if we are allowed to do a proper investigation on all the chinese, Indinians, arabs who have the same thing like Wonhung, we should count them as second chance.

  7. Guerra says:

    Doesn’t that put you as party leader and AS Prime Minister in an invidious position in so far as obviously there is a significant level of fraud apparently, and Mr. Penner’s agency in that can’t be overlooked.

    Prime Minister Dean Barrow

    The man don’t mind being placed in an invidious position because of all persons in Belize, he Barrow PM is only person who have not see Penner’s email, or maybe even heard about it!

  8. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    For Dean Barrow to go on public television and say Penner didnt commit a crime ….he have balls of steel. Forging documents is not A crime????? come on man. Dean Barrow u stink with all ur lies.

  9. Chelsea Vink says:

    Fool the talk but dah no fool the listen,,,ENOUGH IS ENOUGH !

  10. RedBwai says:

    A crime is a crime is a crime is a crime….who does dictator Barrow thinks he is??…Just because the PM says there was no crime committed doesn’t mean that that is the case. Like i always say, you can never trust liars i mean lawyers…Barrow thinks he is judge jury and executioner now…let Belize’s laws take its course.. I can bet you if it was me forging my documents like that i would be arrested and charged so fast what makes Penner so special?? is it because ministers are above the law?? is it because the PM has his back?? is it because they feel they can brazenly do what they want and get away with it??

  11. C fig production says:

    Sure he is, cause he go his cut of the money

  12. Beano smells strong says:

    as it should be: the captain going down with the ship.

    But it is not over, he might be Beano “Schettino” Barrow in the end.

    And just like Francesco Schettino, indicted and going to trial as a Penner’s co-conspirator, along with the other first officers.

    Listen for the army of GOB document shredders working late at night.
    They got their late night crew ready, like during the last elections for last minute “clerical work”.

    And who told Penner to sign that undated official government document?
    uhh, uuh, uuuugh, none of your business Belizean, no crime has been committed.

    “I told him to resign, effectively fired him. But I back the Honorable Elvin Penner to the end, as long as he does not rat us out.”

    no foxes in the chicken coop, verified by the PM.
    Time to move to a new scandal, or bring back rosewood logs to saw.
    Poopie logs, my kingdom for poopie logs to secure my base and staunch the stink.

  13. LOL, lying out loud says:

    What passport?

    Kim Wanhong?
    never heard of him.

    Missing documents?
    do not know anything about that.

    Elvin Penner?
    I fired him by his resignation letter.
    And I fully support the Honorable Elvin Penner!
    He represents Cayo and all Belizeans, including those in Taiwanese prisons!!!

    Criminal activity?
    Contrerass, Salvidar, Castro, Chang, and the rest of team have never told a lie, much less committed a crime.

    More questions?
    interview over, I have a coverup to complete and new scandal to start.

    Be Sociable, Share!

  14. egghead says:

    Crooks in the business

  15. Toth says:

    Fair Justice. Dean is a lawyer and he now the true meaning of the word (Crime) in Law Terms. The Blacks Law dictionary clearly state that a Crime is Committed; (1) When some ones rights is violated; (2) Injuries is cause to a person,or (3)damage to properties. Just food for thought.

  16. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    @Toth i understand what u r saying….but the prime minister came on national television and told the Belizean people that penner didnt commit a crime…..he is asking WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE. I swear i wish i could get my hands on the prime minister he needs to be flagged infront of the public and then put in jail for taking the Belizean people for fools Dean Barrow is disgusting. Bloody bald headed piece of s#^% caz Thats all he is.

  17. Karim says:

    PM:” I have what was put before me in the early days.”

    PM.” I have what was put before me in the early days.”

    You just said that twice…Hmmmmm???

    PM: “Oh… the details was quite sufficient for me to act indeed was such it left me with no choice.” I don’t have anymore info!

    As the PM, Why do they update you regularly on the progress of the information. Not even Penner’s email they gave to you? Wow…you need to fire these guys for keeping you in the dark. How can you know what to do if you are not being informed… That is soooooo sad!

  18. Citizen says:

    New regulations for JP is that the person for whom they are certifying anything, must be in their presence at the time of the signing, to prove that the person is alive.

    We now know Wonhung Kim was not in ex-mayor Punchis Cruz presence when he signed the declaration form.
    We now know Wonhung Kim was not in Penners presence when he sign and dated his declaration documents.

    The request for a passport form, indicate at the bottom where you sign, that you must date and sign the document for it to be valid, but that you will have committed a crime, for which you can be charged, if any of the information is false. Are those two people who deliberately lied on the declaration forms for Wonhung Kim, on a different level THAN THE REST OF US, where they cannot be charged for LYING?

    PM say they are not on a different level, but no crime was committed even though a known criminal was given a Belizean passport, DIPLOMATICALLY delivered in his hands all the way in Taiwan prison, because of the false information given by both Penner and Cruz.

  19. Coruption says:

    Fraud is a crime how could the PM even think to Back up Penner it is a shame to watch Belizean leaders in such actions.i use to think the UDP where for the people but for years now they have been proving to me its all about them not use or whats better for us!!!. it should all be about equal rights and justice for all!!If they cant make good choices how the hell are they tolerated to run our country!! if it was any other person from outside the cabinet we all know they would be in jail long time!!

  20. Love says:

    This questions was found on the web and we need to ask Hulse :
    a) How much visas are issued by the department of Immigration on a Monthly Basis to Chinese?
    b) Does Hulse knows that they are smuggling Chinese nationals and they are not staying in the Country but heading up North.
    c) What mechanism is in place to guarantee all these Visa holders are not going to leave for another country?
    c) Why is it that all these Visas are being taken to Cuba? If so, our concern is whether these visas are being issued legally.
    d) By having Senor Murga caught with these passports in Cuba isn’t it a clear indication that it’s a smuggling taking place and the immigration department is aiding and abetting.
    e) The applicants are applying through the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Cuba , Therefore Foreign Affairs should have all the records of applicants and the quantum. Why was Senora Murga transferred after the scandal hit the news? We need all the records to show carrier Senor Murga departing Belize and entering Cuba to identify the magnitude of his travels.
    f) It is illegal for any person to hold a passport that does not belong to them. It’s considered Human trafficking. How come Senor Murga had in his possession between 6 to 8 passports?

  21. Al says:

    We change government hoping to see changes in wanton corruption and indifference FOR THE BETTER. Instead, every time we see it gets worst. Thats after we led ourselves to believe that it couldn’t get more corrupted. It just couldn’t. Yet our successive governments do their darnedest to prove us, the Belizean people, wrong. If we vote in PUP next election, I shudder to think what bigger corruption will happen? History dictates that it will happen. Again. And if we vote in UDP again, are we condoning this crap? We are so F#@$%@.

  22. vote UDP says:

    you voted us in in the ’90′s, and brought us back twice since.

    Corruption is problem for Belize. That is why UDP corruption officers are well trained in the art of theft.

    Stealing by amateurs is inefficient, the PUP were amateurs. We told you that and promised to do a better job. Even the gangs work for us to collect bad debts and enforce rules.

    Here at UDP-GOB we do our best to get the last drop when we screw the country.

    We are pro’s at UDP!! We take pride in how we thieve the nation!!!

  23. Kaila Moralez says:

    If there is document on the immigration system as reported by the media let’s get an IT personell on This investigation. I know on that document you can right click and a dialogue box will appear with the word,”properties,” clicking on that word another dialogue box will show info such as the dat,time document was created the IP specific computer the document created from. Same process for kim picture and from properties you csn find out the device which took the pic or day modified so the search will narrow down.

  24. Concern says:

    PM say it ain’t so! These people seems to have the inside scoop which even the cabinet members, the news media and the people of Belize don’t have.


    Belize is preparing for their law against sodomy to be struck down by the courts.
    Gay anal sex, considered ‘against the order of nature’, is illegal in Belize and can get you 10 years jail – but a court case is trying to change that.
    Recent government moves indicate they accept the court may rule the gay sex ban is unconstitutional and has to be altered or scrapped.
    In the latest development, they are amending other areas of the law so male rape would be criminalized properly if the gay part of the penal code is axed.
    The case against Section 53, the anti-gay section of Belize’s criminal code, is being brought by Caleb Orozco, the brave head of the Central American nation’s main LGBT organization, UNIBAM.
    He says the law violates three sections of the country’s constitution and wants it changed so sex between consenting adults doesn’t count. At the moment a straight couple having anal sex are also breaking the law.
    UNIBAM is still awaiting a ruling on the case in May, which appeared to go well. But in the meantime, the government appears to be preparing.
    A new bill would change Section 46 of the criminal code – putting male anal or oral rape on a par with female rape for the first time.
    That’s vital to counter anti-gay churches who have argued scrapping Section 53 would leave no protection for boys and men who are raped.
    Public submissions to the house committee on the new bill are due on 8 October and with anti-gay forces speculating on the government’s plan, it may face opposition.
    Anti-LGBT attorney Arthur Saldivar has argued this ‘seeks to bring in this whole homosexual issue through the backdoor – no pun intended’.
    He has ‘warned’ it is a stepping stone to turning anal sex from an ‘act against the order of nature’ to ‘one where a person has the right to chose’.
    Meanwhile Prime Minister Dean Barrow used Belize’s 32nd Independence Day to say LGBT citizens must have equality, although religious people have the right to disagree.
    He said: ‘Government will therefore fully respect the right of the churches to propagate their understanding of the morality, or immorality, of homosexuality.
    ‘But what government cannot do is to shirk its duty to ensure that all citizens, without exception, enjoy the full protection of the law.
    ‘After all, the Belize Constitution that affirms the supremacy of God also affirms fundamental rights and the dignity of the individual human being.
    ‘That same constitution further declares that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to non discrimination; to freedom from interference with their privacy; and to freedom from unlawful attacks on their honor and reputation.’
    His comments were following in the steps of his wife, Kim Simplis Barrow, who is also Belize’s Special Envoy for Children and Women.
    In a heartfelt speech for International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) on 17 May she said: ‘We all have a right to be safe and respected and to live our lives free from violence.’
    While much more work is needed, Orozco told Gay Star News he was delighted with progress, saying: ‘It seems the stars are aligning for us.’
    A ruling from the court on the constitutionality of Section 53 has been expected since July. While it could happen at any time, experts say it is likely before Christmas.

  25. Moses Sulph says:

    The Prime Minister is do what almost all politician have done before overlook certain things as long as he gets to hold on to power. With the slip margin of Victory his party had in 2012, he is very much aware that certain change in the dynamics of things can see a shift in power, and the Prime Minister is ready to defer that at all cost. I will be very honest this is not the first or most brazen act of corruption and wrong doing by any minister, never the less is it a wrong doing and should be dealt with in the same manner in which we see matter that involve grass roots Belizeans get dealt with.

    There are relevant authorities in Belize which task with the responsibilities of investigating matter to see what if any charges should be brought against any citizen. The Hon. Prime Minister is not the authority to determine whether a member of his cabinet is to be investigate or charged criminally. After all that is said on done many Belizeans who are interested in the outcome of this matter have not political interest in it, the interest lies in our outrage against corruption and the blatant disrespect to our sovereignty.

    Ultimately, the Belizean people will have to decide if they will allow this to blow over like a breeze or be ready to unite, Unions, Social partners, watch dog organizations and opposition will have to show their resolve whether they are truly about what is in the best interest of the country or they will allow partisan politics to trump what is right. I say we must not allow this to blow by we must unite together as our ancestors did against the slave master in gaining their independence. The time to save our country is while we have the chance to do so. One Nation, one Belize

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