Fraudulent addresses for new Belizean Citizens? 3


The deadline for the registration of new voters has been extended from today to January twentieth. And there is a mad rush to register to vote in March seventh election or the upcoming general elections whenever they are called which, according to the Prime Minister, is very soon. So on Friday, as many as four hundred persons, mostly Central Americans, queued up at the George Price Centre in Belmopan to take the oath as new citizens of Belize. Despite the hue and cry from the wary public, the practice of mass naturalization normally takes place before elections to pad the voters list. The contention has been that most of the new Belizeans do not qualify and that due process is invariably not followed in the rush for new votes. In respect of Friday’s swearing-in, most of the new Belizeans provided addresses in the Corozal Southeast and Orange Walk Central constituencies. We followed the trail to Orange Walk today where the controversial process turned outright scandalous when a homeowner called the media to report that several of the new citizens were registered at her address and that of her daughter’s in the San Lorenzo area. She has found out that applications in the names of Freddy Ixchop and Ana Maria Hernandez were submitted with her address while Rebeca Acuna and Francis Maroquin registered at her daughter’s address. Our News Five team was still with the homeowner when she received a phone call from someone purportedly offering to pay her three hundred dollars to keep the story quiet. That offer was rejected and the homeowner explained that she found out her address had been used when she got a visit from Elections and Boundaries personnel on Monday.

Voice of: Homeowner, San Lorenzo Housing Layout

“I got surprised because they asked me about four or five different people if they live here. And everybody in the neighborhood know that only me and my two girls live here so I was just surprised.”

Delahnie Bain

“How did you find out?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“I don’t want to call any names but when they came here they asked where are the people them and I said I don’t know. That’s how I got to know.”

Delahnie Bain

“Okay, but who came here though, people from Elections and Boundaries?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“Elections and Boundaries yes, and they asked me where are the people because they want to speak to them and I said they don’t live here; and especially so many and when I said can I see the paper, they showed me the paper and said but these people just got naturalized. They said yes and they said that’s worse because everybody in the neighborhood knows that only we live here.”

Delahnie Bain

“And I understand your daughter’s house is also involved?”

Voice of: Homeowner

 

“Yeah, they said also two or three people are living there and she is a single person so the only person living there is—she’s living there by herself.”

Delahnie Bain

“What made you decide to call the media about this?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“To begin with, because they have things like human trafficking and those people just got naturalized and I know that I could get in some trouble for it.”

Delahnie Bain

“So have you been trying to do something about this?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“Well I went to different people and asked for an opinion and they said the best thing is that you have to tell the truth so here I am.”

Delahnie Bain

“And have you gotten anywhere in trying to contact any officials?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“Well of course right now around this time you can’t get to the big fish so you have to deal with the small ones. Of course I am concerned because of course you know election is close so they are finding other people just to build them up you so they get naturalized because of the fact that election is close so of course.”

Delahnie Bain

“It might also seem like a political thing, like maybe you’re just trying to bash the government or something.”

Voice of: Homeowner

 

“Oh no, not at all. This is not about politics. This is about just being truthful and doing the right thing and they are not doing the right thing.”

Delahnie Bain

“Is there anything else you want to highlight?”

Voice of: Homeowner

“Well, I would just send this message out that other Belizeans, born Belizeans are out here seeking help but they’re helping other people who they think they can confuse but that is not right so do the right thing.”

The Orange Walk resident and her daughter will now sign and submit a declaration to the Elections and Boundaries Department, stating that they do not know any of the citizens who claim to live at their addresses.

Channel 5 Belize

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